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K-State Today

May 24, 2013

Celebrating another season of commencement

Submitted by April Mason

Dear Colleagues,

Another May, another semester, another set of wonderful commencements. Aahh…

After a weekend full of wonderful high points, I did sit down on Monday to take it all in. What a time! Our honorary doctorate recipient and Graduate School commencement speaker, Warren Staley, was so incredibly gracious and giving of his time while on campus. The video prepared as an introduction was so warm and detailed of a wonderfully giving man and family. His message to the graduates was so thoughtful. I want all to know that his framed diploma was at our dinner that evening and went home with him on the airplane. Also, he got to wear his new doctoral hood at the College of Agriculture commencement where he again served as the speaker! 

We had a wonderful mother-daughter event at commencement. Julie Hunt received the advising award at the College of Arts and Sciences, and her daughter, music major Rachel Hunt, sang at the College of Business Administration commencement the next hour. Both are family members of Paul Hunt, professor of music. Genetics! I also understand that genetics is involved in success in the College of Veterinary Medicine. One just has to see how many of our graduating DVMs were hooded by family members who are also DVMs, many with DVMs from Kansas State University.

I have always wanted to have screaming fans for academics. Well, it happened. Stan Weber gave the commencement speech for business administration, complete with broadcasting headphones leading cheers for academics. It was great! What an amazing two days of happiness.

On a personal note, Suzy and Robert Auten saw two Auten children come across the stage! I always think that each student walking across that stage — whether wearing scary heels, flip flops or athletic shoes — carries a story of accomplishment, a story of achievement over many obstacles, and I only wish I knew more of those stories. 

Many have asked if my hand gets sore from shaking so many hands. No, not really. But my feet? They are a different matter. Even wearing comfortable shoes, Saturday evening I wanted to sit with my feet up. I did rebound quickly though as Sunday afternoon I did get a few hours on the motorcycle before the clouds sent me home and back to work.

And all got back to work. The inaugural Undergraduate Advising Institute started up Wednesday under the careful direction of Steven Dandaneau and a great team of Alison Wheatley, Kent Kirby, David Griffin, Christine Wilson and Bente Janda. The turnout of faculty and professional advisors was impressive, and Steve’s anticipated University Advising Committee will be a wonderful follow up to set an agenda for our academic advising at Kansas State. Thanks to this group for their wonderful work.

Summer plans now beckon us. Whatever your plans, wherever they take you — far or close by — a good academic year has just concluded. I look forward to summer school and another academic year to start in August with new events, ideas and yes, challenges, but with a new group of student stories to unfold.

Thank you for what you do!