Last evening, June 5, we had the honor of attending Hayley’s graduation ceremony as she completed her years at Cincinnati Country Day School.
The Commencement was held outdoors on a beautiful summer evening (temperature in the low 80s and low humidity) in the very pleasant setting on the lawn just outside the main lobby of the school. The graduating seniors numbered only 73 so the whole ceremony lasted just under 1 1/2 hours.
The faculty and seniors were piped in (a Scot was the bagpiper) and took their seats on either side of the main podium. There were short speeches by the Head of School, the President of the Board of Trustees and two of the seniors – the Senior Class President and the President of the Student Council. The two seniors did an excellent job and, I think, gave more interesting and inspiring talks than the faculty members.
Then the 73 seniors in turn received their diploma. We found it interesting that one of the teachers gave a short (three or four sentence) “biography” of every one of the graduates – a very nice touch and something possible only for such a small graduating class.
The whole ceremony was a wonderful occasion for us and Hayley’s family and provided a stark contrast to the way Molly and I left Grammar School 55 years ago and, we believe, the way it happens even now in England. We just left!
One final note which only our American friends will understand. This was the only graduation ceremony (school or university) where Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance march #1 was not played interminably as the seniors (sometimes several hundred) received their diploma. Our English friends may wonder why a British patriotic song is a “standard” at American graduation ceremonies – but we have no answer!
Below are a number of pictures which I hope capture the feeling of the event – and that of two very proud grandparents.