Something out of the ordinary happened at the School’s 171st Commencement.
Actually, I would say that the entire Commencement was particularly memorable—given that a deluge outside drove us into the Athletic Center for only the third time in dozens of years. The address by Joanna Lau P’13 was captivating for the personal journey of courage and determination that it revealed in the story of the speaker’s mother.
But something else happened that was a bit odd. After the diplomas were conferred, I was asked if we could re-present the diploma to one of our young men. His parents had arrived too late to see the live version.
Being Williston—and not to be hung up on unbending ceremony—we improvised. We had the young man return his diploma and then take the walk across the stage, handshakes and all, so that his parents could enjoy the moment.
I could not help but notice (as I took my familiar walk across the quad to my office on this final Saturday of classes) the transformation that has taken place in that space over the past 18 hours.
The fun and play of our annual Willy Gras afternoon—a true community event where young faculty children enjoy the games alongside our students—has given way to the seriousness of purpose as parent and student volunteers prepare Reed for our third Red Cross Blood Drive of the year.
With exemplary student leadership from two young men in the Class of 2012,
we have our largest registration of the year, promising to make this drive the most successful in terms of donations.
It seems only fitting to me that for a school where involvement, leadership, and service are so central to our lives, that many seniors will be giving of themselves, one last time, before they take the next big step of their lives on June 2 at the school’s 171st Commencement.
Ed. note: There were 82 donations at the blood drive, which means that the contributions will help as many as 246 people. Special thanks to seniors Adrian Mendoza and Alex Nunnelly, and director of student activities Mr. Spearing.