New grads wait out rain for diplomas
From The Newark Advocate
By L.B. WHYDE
GRANVILLE, Ohio — Denison University's Class of 2002 was making one final trip down the hill when the rain finally came Sunday.
With thousands sitting on the Fine Arts Quad, officials quickly delayed the ceremony as the crowd sought shelter in nearby buildings for an hour.
But the wait didn't dampen spirits, especially those of April Bass of Steubenville, who incorporated graduation with Mother's Day and had a special tribute to her mother in the form of "thank-you Mom" written in duct tape on top of her mortarboard.
"Without my mother, there is no me," Bass said. "My graduation is her Mother's Day present, all in one."
During the second successful graduation attempt, speeches from graduates and visiting dignitaries were eliminated as well as the student recessional as sprinkles of rain fell.
Sarah Borron of Bargersville, Ind., was one of the first to graduate, as she was one of the six President's Medal winners. She has been named to the Congressional Hunger Center, which was founded by U.S. Rep. Tony P. Hall nine years ago. Hall, a 1964 Denison graduate, received an honorary degree and was scheduled to deliver the traditional commencement address. Borron is one of 22 appointees to the Congressional Hunger Center and will spend six months on grass-roots work dealing with hunger issues and another six months in Washington, D.C., working with policy and advocacy based issues."Overall, I have been very happy here at Denison, and it has been really satisfying to develop good relationships with the professors here," Borron said.
Christy Trager was old enough to be the mother of the students, but she walked right alongside of them as she graduated with a degree in geology. She graduated from Heath High School in 1972 and immediately started a family.
For the last six years, she has worked at Denison as an academic secretary and taken one or two courses a semester.
"Denison has a terrific benefit, and I had a supportive department," Trager said. "I am pleased to have finally reached my personal goal. The students really treat me like one of them, and they can't believe I'm a grandmother."
Six retiring professors were recognized. They are:
William J. Bishop, Amy Glassner Gordon, Kenneth P. Klatt, Richard L. Lucier, Ronald E. Santoni and Philip E. Stukus.
Honorary degrees were awarded to:
Stephen Holmes, class of 1969, currently a professor of law and politics at New York University School of Law as well as the Director of the Center for Russian and East European law.
And also to U.S. Congressman Tony Hall, class of 1964, who was recently appointed by President Bush as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.