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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Senior Scrapbook: Back Stories

Cliff with Women
This was taken at Twilight at Trinity, the Residential Life senior banquet. Nearly 300 people showed up for dinner, drinks, and jazz. It was originally slated to be at the Storch building, with the skyline in the background. Of course, the only day of rain in the last half year was that day, so we had to move inside to Mabee Hall, which the students actually seemed to prefer, oddly. I took several pictures and promised seniors I would post them on my blog, but almost none of them turned out. So apologies to all of you! Cally Chenault organized this program and she sent me this photo from Facebook. I decided I would use it and call it "Cliff with Women," and then noticed that's what it was already labeled.

 ParentTalkers from New Delhi
Anil and Gurmeet Bakshi have reached legendary status as favorites on the Trinity listserv ParentTalk. Anil does most of the posting, but Gurmeet "watches over his shoulder" to monitor what he says. Probably a good thing given his sense of humor. (Some people will put almost anything in writing.) Their reference to me as "His Dean-ness" on PT over the last several years has brought a certain amount of status to my position, even if the reference is tongue-in-cheek. They were here four years ago to drop off their son Arnav. This trip back was their first in four years. We finally met in person at Friday's Baccalaureate, featuring speaker Dr. Carey Latimore.

Senior Moment

Fitting, indeed, that the Class of 2011 selected my mentor, Dr. Coleen Grissom to offer the toast at Friday's Last Great Reception. Dr. Grissom was the keynote speaker four years ago when the students arrived on campus as new students. True to form, Dr. Grissom did not recycle her material, but referenced it in a touching send-off of this terrific group of seniors. Dr. Grissom, by the way, hired me twice, and promoted me twice. And she has told me that I sometimes use humor inappropriately. Really Dr. Grissom... I learned from the best!
One of a KIND

Commencement featured a student speaker (read on...) and keynoter and alum Daniel Lubetzky. It was a pleasure to finally get to meet Daniel. He gave a terrific speech. I learned of him last year when he set up an annual Roman M. Lubetzky  KINDness Award. This is one of the Student Leadership Awards and goes to a student who exemplifies social vision and kindness toward others. He named the award after his father, a Holocaust survivor and self-educated man. The first recipient of this $5,000 cash award was senior Shelley Ramsey. Click here to see the award presentation and hear words from Roman himself.
 Cantwell Donewell

Nevermind that student commencement speaker Jenna Cantwell was kind of a dark horse in a competitive pool of potential speakers (chosen be fellow seniors by the way). Her speech was strong in substance and style and received rave reviews. The highlight was her mention of the late German professor Herr Sebastian, who had students out to his home when his cancer kept him from coming to campus. What's more, Jenna's parents had no idea she was the commencement speaker until they were seated and opened up their programs and her dad asked her mom if she knew Jenna was speaking. She didn't. And she cried during the beautiful speech. When Jenna mentioned that she and her mom kept the cost of college from her father, it was true. Apparently her mom does the bills and they spared dad the details. Priceless indeed Jenna. And way to get comfy in that Alumni t-shirt! Well played all the way around.
Ten years ago...
Noelle (Stockman) MacGregor, Class of 2001 was not happy that she had to miss her own commencement because she was away representing Trinity in the softball playoffs. She asked then President John Brazil for her own commencement. He obliged and a tradition was born. Who is the skinny man with brown hair anyway? Note that Noelle is a loyal follower of the Dean's List blog. Let's see how long it takes her to comment. (By the way, the coat, tie and pants... Wore them the other day.)

...and Today

The tradition was carried on today as three senior Trinity tennis players, who missed Saturday's festivities, had their own private ceremony. They were Bobby Coconougher, Cory Kowal, and Donald Murray, and they continue on to quarterfinals this weekend. Dr. Richard Burr offered a specially-tailored tennis-related speech recalling his own days as a college tennis -player in 1957. I snapped the above photo when Don Murray was receiving his diploma. Not a great photo, but it does reflect the intimacy of the ceremony. About 25 faculty, staff, and family members attended to see the students become official. Now go Tigers!


Noelle MacGregor said...

Awwww. I feel the love. I'm happy to know it's become a tradition. Was it really 10 years ago? I'm getting old. That means you're getting even older. :) Miss you!

David Tuttle said...

Noellie - Yes, it has been ten years (simply take the current year and subtract the year you graduated). But somehow, less logically, I do believe that I am aging at an exponentially higher rate than you. So you got me there. Next time you are here we can take an "after" picture together.

Noelle MacGregor said...

So that's how math works. See, I'm a life-long learner. I will definitely be in San Antonio at some point this summer. If you're here for a baseball game, let me know. I hear there might be some open seats. You can meet my mini-me and mini-Rob.

Linds said...

This is a really, really great way to recognize graduating athletes who cannot attend their own commencement because they are off representing Trinity. Way to do right by them you guys, I find it really great that so many faculty and staff also attend.

The Kemps said...

10 years ago already. :) I have a pic up from that day in my house. Happy to hear TU keeps it up!