President Hrabowski Speaking at UMBC’s Graduation at the Mariner Center

President Hrabowski Speaking at UMBC's Graduation at the Mariner CenterThursday’s ride was a short one, just down the hill to the Mariner Center for UMBC’s undergraduate graduation ceremony. I know a lot of folks who find these ceremonies long and boring after awhile, and though I need to learn to smuggle in water and extra snacks under my gown, I still love a good graduation–pomp, circumstance, costumes, floppy hats, shiny faces, extended and even more extended families, reminders that The Children Are Our Future, and then, of course, the endless list of names. For individual graduates, though, it’s always the very first time, and I still get excited to celebrate, especially for the students I’ve had in classes or as advisees. This was my second one at this school, and already I have more grads to cheer for as we sit through over three hours so each individual student gets her moment on the stage. I snapped this picture as the president of the university, Freeman Hrabowski, gave his speech about the importance of maintaining decorum during the ceremony. Clap, yes, but remember decorum. Oh, my father would have howled at such a request! I tried to keep my hoots to a minimum and sat politely through the ceremony, buoyed by D.’s gift of a brownie and water halfway through. When it was over we all filed out and people waited for buses back to campus or got in line for cars as Freeman climbed in his parked right at the front door and I hopped on my bike locked up right next to his car. If you’re not the president, the best way to travel to graduation is most assuredly by bike. Congratulations, graduates!

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