The image to the left (which I took just an hour ago) is a clear indication that commencement- an exciting annual tradition on college campuses nationwide- is upon us. In fact, in less than 48 hours this event will have come and gone, and students at Sacred Heart University will have earned their degrees.
This is the third Sacred Heart University commencement in which I have participated as an employee (I participated in my own commencement ceremony at SHU as I earned my Bachelor's Degree in 2000). And while there is no guaranteeing good weather, commencement ceremonies are always wonderful events.
This particular commencement ceremony- to be held here on campus this Sunday morning- is special for the simple reason that several part-time undergraduate students that I have recruited and/or advised over the last three years will be earning their degree and moving on. For adult students who balance work, family, and school, this is a major accomplishment. Many of them come to Sacred Heart University from other four year institutions or two-year colleges, and they fine-tune and put the finishing touches on a hard-earned degree with us. There are also many to whom SHU is the only college that they have attended. Going part-time, it has taken them longer than full-time students, so this accomplishment is even that much more significant and special.
To them- and to all of those hard-working students who are part of the Class of 2011- I send my congratulations and best wishes. Earning a college degree is a major accomplishment under any circumstances, and they should be proud of this wonderful achievement.