Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Saturday's Unified Commencement was held in the
Backstage, Jessica texted that she had had her photo taken in the Saints official locker room; however, she did not mention it was by an official photographer, nor that it included Ellen, herself and Harry Conick, Jr., all the while being filmed by Ellen's crew so a week later this very moment would be flashed on the screen of the "Ellen" show!
Then it was 9:00 am and time for the official
pomp and circumstance.
Jessica in Portal # 2, of the Superdome, readying her standard.
The faculty, graduates, and audience were in place
when the announcer stated,
"Carrying the gonfalon for the platform party
is Jessica Roberts from (our town) Ohio."
The spotlight hit the portal, the bagpipers started playing
and the academic procession was led by the
University Marshall carrying the Academic Mace,
followed by Earl in his academic regalia,
followed by Jessica bearing the gonfalon.
J carrying the gonfalon across the back
and then up the main aisle.
Almost to their destination, the stage where the bagpipers were playing while the platform party was filing in until they, too, were on stage.
An inspiring invocation
was offered by
jazz clarinetist
Dr. Michael White.
Then through state-of-the-art video,
we were reminded of the devastation left
from Hurricane Katrina.
{I believe this was Jessica's dorm at the time of the storm.}
That freshman class, who was now graduating,
had only been on campus
24 hours when they were evacuated. After five months of being displaced,
an astounding number
of the student body returned--
Especially for the freshman class who
did not know Tulane or New Orleans...yet.
And when they returned,
they all made a difference.
{I wish I could personally
thank each and every faculty member and
university employee for also returning at a
very vulnerable time...for everyone.
Thank you!}
Just by returning the
population of New Orleans
increased 20 %.
There were tributes by Brian Williams,
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden,
whose daughter is a Tulane alumna,and former president Bill Clinton;
all who returned, rolled up their sleeves
and help rebuild this unique city.
All the while Earl was doing what Earl does best,
organizing every detail.
Jessica on the huge screens in the Superdome.
The ceremony ended with fireworks,
confetti, umbrellas,
and students waving
their white, commemorative handkerchiefs.
"Only in New Orleans.
Only at Tulane."

Hats off to all of you...

1 comment:

Emily said...

A super, super, fantastic, wonderful and overwhelming day! Congratulations, Jessica!