Graduation Weekend

This past weekend was just fantastic.  Great weather, combined with our friends and family coming into town, combined with graduation from Cornell.  Although Chelsea and I have yet to officially defend our PhD thesis, we were lucky enough to be able to partake in the graduation ceremony a little early.  Cornell allows doctoral candidates to walk early if they plan to defend in the near future, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have our families come visit for the last time during what is supposed to be one of the best parts of the year (sure beats walking in December in our opinion.)

We had a full house here on Dart Drive, 9 people and three pets all crashed under our roof.  We were glad to be able to accommodate them all, and it was nice that everyone got along so well (not that you’d expect different with our families).  It was also cool because we were basically done with most of the house and got to show it off a little bit.  I know my parents were impressed.

The graduation festivities began on Saturday with Chelsea and I both walking in the PhD recognition ceremony.  This is supposed to be a smaller more personal ceremony and specific to the graduate school.  Unfortunately we were unable to recieve the doctoral hood from our advisor, which is tradition at many places, simply due to the large volume of students graduating.  We did get to have our names read and walk across the stage to shake hands with the University President.  Chelsea and I enjoyed the ceremony (despite the heat in those robes) and we know our parents really enjoyed it.  Here is a picture not too long after of me with Mom and Dad.

As I said before, we could tell our parents were pretty proud, and I even managed to capture our Dads enjoying the moment:

Sunday was the pan-school commencement ceremony.  All students gathered on the arts quad a few hours early, but we couldn’t help but stop to grab a picture by the iconic clock tower:

It was actually pretty cool leaving the arts quad as part of the procession.  We walked through a gauntlett of trustees and faculty in robes, as well as marched through campus on the way to the stadium.  Once we got to the stadium they announced us as we made our way around and to our seats.  I really enjoyed the procession.

We also managed to snag some pictures outside of our homes away from home, the lab buildings.  I mostly like these because they are taken outside and in the sunshine though.

We ended the celebratory weekend with a huge party / bbq that I think was a smashing success.  We had lots of friends come visit and I think most had a good time.  Thank you to everyone that made it out, it really means a lot to us and we hope you enjoyed it too.

All said and done this weekend was quite a blur, but we tried to stop and smell the roses now and again.  It was a strange feeling being congratulated on an accomplishment not quite finished, but at the same time I really had a chance to reflect on everything I’ve done and I can appreciate the sentiments.  Thanks again everyone that helped make this past weekend (and our time at Cornell) so much fun.

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