Graduation weekends are always special, but this one was particularly fulfilling for me, as I got to award my niece’s diploma onstage at the UW-Stevens Point afternoon commencement ceremony. They’re also bittersweet, because graduation means some of our favorite people will be moving on. Our niece Ivannia Herrera Gonzalez is one of them, and we couldn’t be prouder — she graduated early and magna cum laude.
But it means she’ll probably be leaving town soon. That’s tough, because it’s been really great to have more family around during her time at UWSP. I’ll also miss our Pointer graduates and a whole slew of other students in communication and other areas.
Their leaving, regardless of how happy I and other faculty members are for them, is made a little tougher by the fact that we get to stay behind and try to keep things running smoothly when it’s clear that public support for education in Wisconsin is in serious trouble. I went to a picnic tonight that was attended primarily by folks at the university, and that trouble was a constant theme of discussion. At the same time — perhaps because it is the end of the year and so many of the picnic guests were still beaming about our new grads and the prospects of at least a little summer break — there was plenty of optimism that we’d somehow survive next year’s troubles, too.