Commence the Commencing

While we don’t often use the term outside of the formal learning setting, we do in fact graduate every day.

"Graduation is only a concept.  In real life every day you graduate.  Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you'll make a difference." -Arie Pencovici

I came across this quote while searching for some words of advice to give this year’s graduating class. I work at a university, so I see a lot of graduates. Year after year I watch them cross that stage. Year after year I watch them leave us and go out into the world. And year after year I wonder where their education will take them.

This has to be my new favorite quote about graduation. In addition to the definition we’re all used to associating with the word “graduation,” it can also be defined as a unit of measurement or a mark on an “instrument indicating quantity.” More than a ceremony, graduation signifies accomplishment, moving forwards, and achievement.

While we don’t often use the term outside of the formal learning setting….we do in fact graduate every day. We graduate from one position to another at work, from one skill level to another. We’re constantly moving forward. Growing. Learning.

And while not all of these accomplishments, these little graduations, call for caps and gowns (although I feel that look never goes out of style) or are accompanied by an cheering audience, they should be celebrated just the same.

I guess that’s why they call it commencement: it’s the first of many graduations. Get ready to celebrate, graduates -- you have a lifetime of reasons to throw your cap in the air ahead of you. And while we won’t always be there to watch you walk across the proverbial stage of life, know that we’ll think of you often, and when we do, we’ll always give you a standing ovation.

Ottawa University's Oak Creek and Brookfield campuses will hold their 2012 Commencement Ceremony at Spring Creek Church in Pewaukee on June 8th!

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