Commencement Is Almost Here!

It’s finally here! Commencement weekend – the pinnacle of our ’22 Deacs’ hard work and achievements. It is a time of justifiable pride – both from our students, and from their families. May you enjoy every minute.

I grabbed this picture from the Quad Cam, so you could see where we are in the preparations for the big day. For those who like to see how the sausage is made, I’d encourage you to keep your eye on the Quad Cam starting at about 2 pm on Commencement day. You will be astonished at how quickly our amazing crew can break down the stage and get the chairs off the grass. Quad Cam from Friday 5 13 22 as we prepare for Commencement

As you can see from this picture, we are having an overcast morning. Keep your eye on the weather forecast this weekend and be sure you are prepared for whatever the forecast will bring (and don’t panic if you see weather you don’t like – the forecast can change drastically from day to day).

If you are a fan of fun, funky facts about Commencement, you can visit the Did You Know? site for some trivia.

Speaking of trivia, my best guess is the number of chairs on the Quad will be somewhere in the range of 13,000. By contrast, this is a picture of the Quad from 1992, the year I graduated. There were just shy of 900 students graduating in my class, and it looks like the chairs didn’t stretch past the halfway point of the Quad. You can also see we had a very different tent: smaller, maybe a bit circusy. 1992 Commencement photo - the quad with its old, circus striped tent

If there are any ’92 families within the Daily Deacdom, my gift to you today is our Commencement speech from President Thomas K. Hearn, Jr. (we don’t seem to have the transcript of Tom Clancy, our commencement speaker, whose remarks were not particularly memorable to me, though I seem to recall him smoking in his cap and gown). Dr. Hearn’s speech included this thought below, which was a theme he returned to in many other speeches I heard him give once I joined the WFU staff. It resonates with me.

You will encounter the mysteries of good and evil, achievement and despair, faith and doubt. The world’s story is told in both tragedy and comedy. Not all our endings are happy, but some are wonderful indeed.

Congratulations to all our graduates – and to the loving and wonderful families who have supported them during their WFU journey. See you on the Quad first thing Monday morning!

by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)