Sunday, June 14, 2015

This Day...33 Years Ago

My alma mater, Kalamazoo College, is holding its commencement exercises today. It's a beautiful ceremony that is usually held on the College's quad. Hopefully, weather didn't intervene and the ceremony didn't go indoors.

I bring this up because I remember the day I received my degree -- in English -- like it was yesterday. My college experience included a study abroad in Sierra Leone, as well as several internships in both television and newspapers. It was an amazing four years.

And...I didn't want to leave. Well, I did, but not in the way most think. College was safe -- a place to live, a place to eat and something to do all day. I didn't have a job lined up -- the economy in 1982 was similar to what it is today.

My niece, Emily McIlree, recently graduated from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was going through the same emotions -- time to leave the "safe" haven and jump into the real world. She is very marketable -- a degree in graphic design and a bunch of experience under her belt.

Is this every college graduate? Hard to tell. I can only image what hangs over today's graduate -- not only a recovering economy, but student debt that just blows my mind. Yes, I had student debt when I graduated -- $10,000 to be exact -- and I paid it off. That's nothing compared to today's grads.

Best of luck to Emily and to my now fellow alumni (class of 2015) from Kalamazoo College.

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