The President kicked off the Associate Dean’s Reception with a congratulations to the graduating class and a reassertion of his belief that they were exactly what the world needed. Who else was as well trained to dispel the narrow-mindedness that pervades our individual communities and our joint nation? Champagne flutes were raised, and cries of “Hear, Hear!” were heard above the mingled clinkings as the crowd in the Hodson Boathouse heartily agreed with Mr. Kanelos’ assessment.
More toasts followed — to tutors from students, to students from tutors, to staff, to friends, to fiancés, and to the Four Republics — and those graduating received their customary bundle of St. John’s merchandise as well as their customary hug from the Associate Dean. One more round of applause, and the party was over.
But the Associate Dean’s Reception was only the first of a week filled with events as celebratory as they were sad. The feast of the last After-Seminar Gathering powered many a conversation before its remains filled the garbage bins. The raucous laughter heard in Galway Bay after the last preceptorial made way for wistful sighs, and smiling eyes watered as they turned from enjoying the bocce competition to look upon aged memories. The graduation ceremony marked the high point of this push-pull on the heartstrings: sixteen new sashes, sixteen new degree-holders, sixteen new alumni. One more, final round of applause, and the semester in Annapolis was over.
Whether it’s on to a PhD or the next deployment, back to the head of your classroom or a happy retirement, we who remain behind can’t wait to see how you’ll carry St. John’s into the next phase of your life.
And we hope you’ll update us in person!