First of, I will like to say congratulations to my peers who will be graduating with me this Spring. It was rough, it was tough, but it was all worth it and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
Now that the formalities are done, oh my God!!! My whole being is still vibrating from what I have seen and witnessed. I really thought I was ready or that it would not be that big of a deal but I stand corrected.
The Graduation Celebration started at six o’clock with a little “aperitif.” People were bonding, the conversation was varied, from the incessant rain, to appreciating each other attire, congratulating each others achievements, and showing how proud and happy they were to be there. All this around a well garnished table.
Around seven, everyone was invited into the MPR where the ceremony started.
Dr. Stewart Edelstein DJ skills woke up the crowd but I think that is an understatement actually. Instead, I would say he electrified the crowd and sprayed his good vibrant personality across the room. The energy continued throughout the program. The panel of speakers were amazing starting with my homegirl much appreciated and respected Jessica Fuentes who slayed the national anthem like there was no tomorrow!
However, she was not the only star. The student speaker Menaza Fernando also showed us that life is always a knot and through hard work and motivation we can make it. Her story was heartfelt and edifying. She shared a part of her soul with us and a lot of us graduates related to her and was able to reminisce on all the time we had to sacrifice and the sweat and tears that came with every semester. Yet, she reminded us that, that although we struggle we must stay focused and remember from where we came.
Faith Kamei, President of the Student Council then introduced Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III President of UMBC. It was as if he embodied Dr. Stewart Edelstein, Jessica Fuentes, Menaza Fernando, Faith Kamei, Sara Manfredi in one body. It was vibrant! His speech was anchoring and soul touching yet, it had a relaxed and humorous tone. He was not the uptight type I had thought a president of a university would be like. Instead, he brought with him a time machine. He took us throughout time, through the struggles we have forgotten, and reminded us that within each of us lays a story. That we have just finished writing a chapter and now beginning a new one.
Dr. Hrabowski was like a teacher giving his last lecture to his class. It still amazes me to know that he graduated with a Math Degree! If I was so lucky to have him as a math teacher during my formidable years I would have probably pursued working in NASA.
Lastly, Sara Manferdi, Vice President of the Student Council, introduced the class gift to the crowd and proceeded to show how influential the council is and presented a video that showed all the accomplishments students made during the year. The atmosphere was full with joy and reverence.