I thought the 105th Rice commencement came off very well. There were five events over two days and the plenary ceremony on Saturday morning was all you could have asked for–intermittent cloud cover, a bit of a breeze, and a speaker who knew how to deliver a speech. I always get choked up at graduation. Not about the students, but about the faculty. Seeing my colleagues marching in their academic regalia, they suddenly seem inheritors of a deep and valuable tradition instead of just guys I have coffee with. It is a powerful (if only partial) antidote for the cynicism bred by modern bureaucratic organization.
I was a graduate marshal so most of what I saw had to do with getting them organized from our staging area in Duncan Hall:
So many cell phones–even while marching! Who the heck could they have been talking to?
Led by the GSA banner:
All hail the Ph.D. recipients, the newest inheritors of the tradition. Everyone stands while their degrees are conferred:
Bonus: A couple of updates. First, the color guard performed flawlessly (as best I could tell) and they looked quite smart in uniform.
Second, those fireworks on Friday night were a smash hit. This was taken by my friend, our campus videographer Brandon Martin.