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A Graduation Weekend! June 1, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death, Uncategorized.
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Last weekend my eldest daughter graduated from Mount Holyoke College, and though the effort was all hers, I have to say that it was one of the proudest moments of my life.

This was a two day affair, with Saturday being comprised of the Laurel Parade, a college tradition combining a unique ceremony with visits from alumni of years past, and many meet-and-greets with faculty who overflowed with praise for our brilliant daughter and her brilliant new wife.  The two of them went through the day hand in hand, making it especially sweet for the Pagan Sphinx and me.

Here are a few shots from Saturday.

Laurel ropes (yes, real laurel leaves woven into strands a hundred yards long) waiting to be shouldered by the young women who earned the right to do so:

laurel ropes

Now to find my Gurrrlz in this sea of diversity:


It’s cowboy hats, head scarves and everything in between, purportedly the most diverse student body in the country, and it’s a magical pageant of humanity to a country boy like me:

more diversity

Ah, there  they are – on the far side of the procession, which is about to begin:

mer and shan

I’ll have to catch up with them later.  But isn’t it fabulous how everyone smiles when you point a camera in their direction?  And certainly all these women deserve to be smiling – Mount Holyoke isn’t for lightweights, and every last one of them earned this day, Big Time.

The parade begins with invited alumni (a staggered system which avoids having millions of women converge on this unsuspecting little town every May) strutting their colors and reminiscing about when it was their graduation:


…while more venerable alums watched from a comfortable distance:

car and driver

The Ladies in Red here are proud graduates of the Class of 1934:

class of 1934

Their smiles are as priceless as their memories must be.

And then the matriculating  Seniors walk that walk through the campus which they called home for the last four years:

parade starts

Through the campus they wind their way, arriving at last at the grave of the school’s founder, Mary Lyon:

through the grass

Winding themselves tightly around the tiny fenced plot, passing their laurel ropes forward, swaddling their benefactor’s grave in the glory of their proud accomplishments:


It was all a lot classier than I’ve managed to portray it, and made for a beautiful morning, followed by hugs from the Moms:

with Mom

That’s The Pagan Sphinx, flanked by Elder Progeny and her Beloved, with our little Ultimate Spawn rounding out the Gaggle of Gurrrlyz.

Our Beloved’s mom and dad flew in from California for this occasion.  Here’s Beloved with her Mom:

DL and Mom

The parade was followed by a picnic on the lawn, with the requisite nap afterward:

picnic nap

Then there were departmental meet-ups, with faculty touting their students’ accomplishments and passing out awards.  Both of our graduates recieved High Praise and Booty.

It won’t surprise you to know that I was busting my buttons.




Sunday’s photos of the actual graduation ceremony will follow shortly; right now, I’m off to bed!



1. Bob - June 1, 2009

Congratulations to Elder Progeny, her Beloved, Pagan Sphinx, and You!!

2. sherry - June 1, 2009

these are so wonderful. what a lovely tradition too.

you have every reason to be proud!

3. kkryno - June 1, 2009


Congratulations to the beautiful graduates and their proud loved ones.

Lovely post, CR.

4. Paul in ABQ - June 1, 2009

What Bob said. Thank you for sharing the joy of this special weekend with the rest of us.

5. Pagan Sphinx - June 1, 2009

Bob, Sherry, kk and Paul – thank you for the kind words.

CR: you did a fantabulous job on this post. You’re writing was grand, as usual and the photographs are amazing. Your camera is awe-inspiring but your eye is what’s evident to me in these; because I was at the same event and I got very different results!

I love how you captured just the right combination of women to highlight your point about diversity – a Mt. Holyoke trademark, indeed.

I used to drive by that college (which you and I grew up so close to) and wonder what the nuns did there all day! 😀 Seriously, the place has a good vibe about it. It must be the good spirit of Mary Lyon floating around! 🙂

Thanks for a great post, R!

All the love,

6. Suzi Riot - June 1, 2009

That is BEAUTIFUL! You and Pagan Sphinx must be so proud. Congratulations!

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