Eric's graduation day (April 30) was an insanely busy but perfect day. It started early by running a couple of errands, then dashing home to get ready in time for Commencement. Eric and I parted ways early so he could line up and I could save seats. That ended up being fairly unnecessary, as the Events Center at UVU only looked about half full once the graduates started walking in. A lot of people decided to skip it. I left early to go save seats for Convocation. That was slated to start about 30 minutes after Commencement ended and we knew there would be no seats available unless they were saved early. I got to cheer with Stephanie and Mike while Eric walked in. That was a beautiful and emotional moment. It was wonderful to see this as part of the culmination of the work Eric has put in to get done with school. He looked so happy (and handsome) walking across the floor in the procession.
I stayed long enough to hear the University president and Student Body president give their addresses before rushing off to the gym where Eric would be walking across the stage. Sufficient seats were saved and I sat in a nearly empty room for quite a while. Thank goodness I'd brought my cross stitch for something to do. It was a good thing I went in when I did because it ended up being standing room only by the time the graduates and faculty were seated. I was joined by Eric's dad and grandma, mom and stepdad, and brother and sister, as well as my parents, brothers, sister in law, and niece. Ellie was there, too. She livens up any event. It made for a good cheering section. We were lucky enough to get a few moments with Eric before he had to step out to line up again. Hugs were shared all around and we were all so proud of him.
The Convocation meeting was, I think, a little more meaningful for everyone. One of the things I appreciated about this meeting was the way they talked about the university and its open enrollment policy. So many of the graduates would not have had the opportunity to be in a college graduation without it. One of the valedictorians started school after a round of layoffs at work when he had three children. His high school GPA was a 1.16 or something like that, which would have kept him out of many other schools. In the years that had passed between high school and attending UVU he gained the motivation he needed to do well and try hard in school. It paid off and opened up opportunities he would not have had otherwise.
Watching Eric walk across the stage to receive his diploma was thrilling. Again, he looked so happy and excited to be there and finishing up his last bit of school. We all yelled and cheered and loved being there.
Immediately after the ceremonies we headed over to Porter's Place in Lehi. We figured it was better to go further from the school to get something to eat. It worked well, as the place was nearly deserted when we arrived. Great conversation was complimented by the presence of two cute little girls on the end of the table. One of the funniest times when we gave Ellie the card I'd given Eric. It makes noise and she was completely stunned. There was quite the roar of laughter.
While at Porter's Place we had Eric open his graduation stuff. It was mostly cards saying nice things because the real gift was something that several of us chipped in on. We got him a Nook and he (and I) have been playing with it ever since. It's way cool. It was a great way to end the day, as we were simply too exhausted for anything else.
We feel so blessed that Eric has finished his schooling and that he already has a job to go into. We expected it to take a few months to find a job, but we were pleasantly surprised. The next day we bought Eric a new work wardrobe with the money from book buy back and graduation. Now he's all ready to move on to what everyone calls the real world. Everyone wishes Eric luck in his endeavors and we're all so proud of him. I'll post pictures when I get them.