It’s that time of the year again. As I walked into campus today, everyone seemed just a little bit brighter, just a little bit more motivated. The students have a determined look in their eye that says “just one more final, I can do this.” The faculty are giving their last lectures and grading those final papers. It might be hard work but they do this with a smile (maybe it’s the summer vacation they see coming over the horizon.) The staff is bustling to and from Cox Arena, putting the final touches on what is going to be a day to remember for nearly 10,000 soon-to-be SDSU alumni. The new media team is checking the equipment we’re going to use to broadcast our SDSU Live coverage at each of the commencement ceremonies. (You can tune in via the web or on television!)
This is nothing compared to the work that commencement coordinator Jennifer Turner is doing down the hall. Every ceremony, every script, every chair and program, every minute planned out to the last detail. This doesn’t just come together on a whim because we do it every year. No, we start meeting about next year’s commencement right away. We know how important this day is. For most students, this will be the lasting memory of their college experience. For their families, it will be the joyous celebration of the hard work their loved one has done.
For the faculty and staff, the experience reminds us exactly why we love to work on a college campus. Every year, we get to see a new group of graduates achieve their dream of obtaining a degree. The excitement in the air, the smiles and tears of an era ending and in moments of quiet, the nervous looks of wonder as to what will come next.
I remember the day I graduated from SDSU. My unusually large family packed into Cox Arena and then Tony Gwynn Stadium (though it wasn’t called that when I graduated in 2001.) I am not sure which was more impressive to them: the fact that I graduated with honors or that I didn’t fall on my face crossing the stage.
So, to all of those who will receive that newly minted degrees, congratulations! (Pretty cool that your diploma is signed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, isn’t it?) You did it! You have achieved your goal. We know it will be the first of many achievements and San Diego State University is proud to have you as an alumnus.
P.S. I’ll be twittering from Commencement on Friday and Saturday, bringing you all the excitement you can fit into 140 characters! Follow me @Gina_SDSU #sdsugrad