Thursday, July 03, 2008
Graduation at Glasgow University
Our son graduated from Glasgow University with an Honours BSc in Mathematics this week - we attended the deeply impressive ceremony on tuesday, fairly bursting with pride! He's the big blonde Viking in the middle of the picture, wearing his kilt and his robe. The ceremony - which was preceded by a reception in the maths department - was held in the university's stunningly beautiful Bute Hall. Glasgow, which is among the top 1% of universities in the world, has more listed buildings than any other university. The ceremonial was fabulous - everything running like clockwork (well, they have had 600 years to get it right!) even down to a wee rehearsal of the singing of the academic hymn, Gaudeamus Igitur, for the audience of proud parents, grandparents etc. Then the students went up one by one to be 'capped' and have their silk lined hoods placed over their heads. Frankly, it was magical.
Afterwards we gathered in the quad (bit showery, as you can see, but very warm) to drink buck's fizz and indulge in congratulations all round. It was lovely to see so many fine young people gathered in one place. It was lovely too to hear the Vice Chancellor impressing upon them all the sheer magnitude of their achievement. I think for the youngsters it was the first time they had really paused to think about exactly what this was - the culmination of so many years of trying, of working, of overcoming all kinds of problems. Esssentially, he was telling them that they ought to be proud of themselves, ought to take their learning out into a wider world, and continue to surprise themselves and those around them in all kinds of positive ways. Our son's wonderful advisor - long past retirement age, but staying on to help his students - was waiting to take lots of photos of his advisees. He was an academic advisor in the old style, keeping in touch with his students, caring about them, writing to them and even taking all his final year students out for a meal - and it was obvious that the respect was mutual, for they all loved him too, not just for his fine mind, but for all the time and trouble he took with them. Afterwards we went off to a restaurant called The Ubiquitous Chip for a long, leisurely and very pleasant meal, before heading home. Our son, meanwhile, went off to party into the early hours....
Now, of course, the hunt is on for a job. We woke up wishing we could have the whole day over again.
Posted by Catherine Czerkawska at 7:22 pm