There is nothing quite so exhilarating as a symbolic gathering to represent a student’s step over the threshold of happy university, and into the doom and gloom of the “real world.” On Tuesday, the Clog finally stepped over that threshold and celebrated our vast accomplishments (procrastination-induced all nighters, skipped classes, etc.) with fellow seniors at the annual Commencement Convocation, which was organized by the spirited leadership group, the Californians.

We began our commencement adventure at the Californians’ pre-reception in Haas Plaza, where we stuffed our face with free fruits, watercress sandwiches, whipped cream and miniature cake delicacies. After a few talks from former Californians, stole presentations to graduating Californians and a photo shoot with Oski, we headed up to the Maxwell Family Field to line up for the procession of seniors into the Greek Theatre.

The very organized sea of black gowns and tassels reminded us of a mechanical line at Disneyland that walked to the long-awaited sound of “Pomp and Circumstance.” We snaked pompously up Bowles, backstage and then onto the grand stage to get our photos taken.

Heading to our seats, we could see that the crowd was totally packed. (Not.) The Clog supposes this ceremony just didn’t have the draw that other campus commencements do–you know, expensive gimmicks like Oprah or Bill Clinton.

But that’s alright. At least we have our jolly Chancellor Birgeneau, who greeted us after an introduction by Mr. Deep, Disembodied Voice. After honoring the late Chris Wootton with a moment of silence, Birgeneau spoke of the plight of undocumented students, the campus’ green achievements (apparently, the campus has already reached the governator’s green goal years ahead of schedule), and continued the ceremony on a note of activism.

President of the California Alumni Association, Darek DeFreece, had by far the most energetic speech. He boasted the usefulness of K.I.T. and being B.F.F.’s with our alma mater (at the price of $500 for a lifetime membership) and cracked some Craigslist jokes.

Mr. Craigslist himself had a very disorganized keynote address, but hey, we expected it! He made the Chancellor chuckle in his seat with implied jabs at Bush, blogged the ceremony, and spoke of the importance of social networking sites. In the end, he asked a teensy favor of all the graduates. The favor? That we change the world.

First Birgeneau, then Craig. God, there’s so much pressure on us now.

Meanwhile, the graduates in all their polyester glory sat in the scorching heat, shielding themselves with programs and envying the shade of the stage. There was a performance of “Get on the Bus,” by Melting Pot, a band of seniors:

And then a barrage of awards was given out to smart people, people who are changing the world big time (like the man whose life’s work is to give Tuberculosis the smack down), and athletes like Justin Forsett, who received his award to cheers and cries of “GO SEATTLE!”

Just when most of the senior class and audience were verging on heat stroke, the ceremony ended. Most everyone headed to the crowded Campanile Esplanade, where we we met up with our friend–free food–once again. The pizza bread was simply scrumptious, but it ran out early.

We can’t wait for our departmental commencement. After that, it’s official. We’re out.

Congratulations to the Class of 2008! Best of luck to you in all your futures.

Image Source: Patrici Flores
Earlier: Craigslist Founder To Wing It for Commencement

Harris Steele said:
Mar 23, 2012 at 9:01 am

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