When it comes to commencement, things typically run by the book. I mean, we have eight ceremonies over three days. There’s not a lot of room for winging it. But every once in a while, we get to do something out of the ordinary that is incredibly special and impactful.
There is a point in each ceremony where the veterans in the audience are asked to stand and are honored and thanked for their sacrifice. This year at the ceremony for the College of Arts and Letters, following that moment, we helped a soldier who is currently stationed over seas to keep a promise to his sister, who was one of our graduates. Since he couldn’t be present for the ceremony, we played a message from him on the video board in the arena.
We were contacted a couple weeks before commencement and asked if it would be possible. While there was a brief glitch in the beginning, Staff Sargent Ed Monroe was able to convey the pride he felt upon his sister’s graduation, and his sister was completely surprised. And while it was one message for one student, it was meaningful for everyone in attendance. And that’s what it’s all about.