Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chris' Commencement

I remember the day that Chris made the decision to go to Rice SO clearly. He was choosing between a full ride at ASU- Honors college and a good financial aid package at Rice University. I just kept thinking... full ride = free college... it's a very good price. I thought it, outloud in fact, to him repeatedly. But at the end of the day, it was his time to make his choice. I've often thought of it like the moment in Stuart Little when the mother pushes the "son" out in the boat on the water. He chose Rice, and we watched him sail away. When he chose Rice I had to look up Houston on a map. Of course, I knew where Texas was, but not Houston. Neither he or Mike and I had ever been there or visited Rice the day we dropped him off at school. It was in fact the trip that began my blogging.
He made his decision because it was a great school, he knew it would be a good investment in his education and his future. And as it turns out he was right. This weekend he graduated from Rice University with a BA in Mathematics, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He has received a doctoral fellowship from the National Physical Science Consortium which will fully fund his doctoral studies and living expenses and he will be attending the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the fall. I am so proud and happy for him because he truly dedicated himself to his goals and invested the time and energy to achieve them. It wouldn't have mattered WHAT the goal was, in fact, I didn't know what Summa Cum Laude or Phi Beta Kappa were until I googled them. But it was a sweet sweet day to see him accomplish what he has set his mind and heart too from such an early age. Someone asked me if I cried. And, I did twice. I cried once when I was sitting in the Tudor Fieldhouse, top row, waiting for graduation writing thank you notes to his friends because I was so grateful for their outpouring of love over the past few years. College has been financially challenging for us, but mostly for him. He denied himself SO much in order to reach his goals. These friends have seen him for who he really is, and helped him relationally and practically along the way. They have become family. And then, when it was all over- I cried thinking of how proud my father and Mike's father would have been of him, of any grandchild, on this day. I wish they could have been here. So, we say farewell to Rice University, to Wiess college which has been his home for four years, nearly a fifth of his life. One chapter ends and another begins. And yes, I had to look up Ann Arbor on a map too.

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