For this edition of The Pulse, a group of alumni were contacted to talk about commencement and the memories elicited.
Below are three of the best responses with each mentioning touchstones like how quickly time passes, the sense of accomplishment, and being rung out. Not surprisingly, each Wabash Man also recalled that the weather figured prominently in those remembrances.
Art Howe ‘82
“I remember the smell of the freshly mown grass, how good the Mall looked, how colorful were many of the capes and cowls our professors wore in the processional, how warm it was to be wearing black robes in 80-degree heat, and how important it was to have my family present for such a big day. But what first comes to my mind is being rung out.”
“Wabash has many traditions but being rung in as a class and being rung out as a class with the bell that Prof. Caleb Mills used to ring in the first classes of Wabash men is perhaps my favorite tradition.”
Jim Dyer ‘83
“The first thing that comes to mind is the phrase in our Alma Mater, “these fleeting years we tarried here.” I have attended four commencements at Wabash – mine, my two brothers’ (one older and one younger), and my son’s. At each ceremony I always thought about how fast the four years went by – fleeting years, indeed. The other thing that comes to mind is rain. All three of my brothers’ commencement ceremonies were held in Chadwick Court due to rain. My son’s commencement last spring was the first outdoor commencement I have attended, and it was wonderful.”
“There is so much that goes on that weekend that things tend to be a blur. The only thing that stands out for me was singing Old Wabash for the last time at my son’s commencement, and, to quote the song, “tears will rise.” Both my wife and I were in tears as we realized that another milestone in our lives had just occurred.”
David Wagner ‘05
“I remember just hanging out with my family afterwards and thinking it’s over, but there is still a lot to come. I was happy with my accomplishment, but I wanted to do more. Celebrating the time with those who mean the most to me and relishing the moment was special.”
“I remember walking across the stage. It was here on the Mall, so it was a bright, sunny day. Walking across and having the diploma in my hand. I was excited, but sad that I was going to depart everything that happened here in those four years. So many friendships, so many bonds were molded here. It was bittersweet.”
Congratulations to the Class of 2014!
Forever more as in days of yore Their deeds be noble and grand.
Then once again ye Wabash men, Three cheers for Alma Mater.