I wasn’t really sure if the ceremony would be fun, but it exceeded my expectations. There were actually two ceremonies — one in the morning (that’s the one we went to), and one in the afternoon. Both of them took place in Madison Square Garden.
Danya and I arrived to the designated place at approximately 10:10. I put my academic outfit on, and we took some pictures. Then our ways separated — Danya went to the theater hall where all the relatives and friends of the graduates sat, and I went to some corridor, where the excited graduates were bunched up in a long line.
I met some classmates (Inna and Felicia) in the line and we waited for about an hour before entering the theater hall where the ceremony took place. There were so many people, that I couldn’t even find Danya in the crowd! I called him on the cellphone, waived my hand — and that problem was solved. This year around 3,700 people have graduated from Baruch — 2,600 of them with Bachelors degrees, and 1,100 with Masters degrees.
A whole bunch of speakers, including a member of the CUNY Board of Trustees Kathleen M. Pesile, a journalist Alma Guillermoprieto, the president of Baruch Kathleen Waldron, a valedictorian Jonathan Rich, have congratulated the graduates and their families. The best speech was given, not surprisingly, by a politician — a special guest Senator Chuck Schumer. His address was really inspiring — he talked a bit about his career and about his family, and he wished us to enjoy whatever job we’ll end up with.
The valedictorian address was memorable too because by graduating from Baruch John Rich continued an ongoing family tradition — 12 members of his family graduated from CUNY schools, starting wih his great-grandmother somewhere back in the 1890s.
I must say that I am glad that I’ve decided to go to the ceremony — I felt a certain happiness, and a sense of achievement. Now all that’s left is to find a good job and to prove that my education is indeed worth something.