She came! She studied! She conquered! This little girl is a college graduate! And her proud daddy, of course ~
And her uber-cool sistah, of course ~
The baccalaureate service last night was good. We enjoyed the speaker, who was engaging and talked to the students about the importance of their decisions, of diligence, and of their destiny as children of God.
Kelvin Cochrane grew up poor in Shreveport, La, and when his father left the family and then died, leaving a wife and six kids, they went from being poor to being "po'," as he said. He rose over the years until he was fire chief in Atlanta. Pretty amazing!
A wonderful reception was given in the gym for everyone. As you see, my face is much better since the bee sting. I must confess, as I was beginning this blog post a few minutes ago, I saw a wasp flying around the room, and I was much more nervous than I used to be about wasps. When you know that a random wasp could force you to jab an epi pen in your thigh, you become more vigilant than before.
We helped Anna move the last vestiges of her stuff out of her room. This is a lovely painting my mother gave her, I think painted by our dear family friend, Ann Calvert. Just wanted Grandmother to know that she has taken fine care of it, and it is leaving college with her :)
At 9:00 this morning the graduates, impressive in their black gowns and caps, gathered on the college steps for a class picture.
My phone takes lousy photos, but you can see Anna in the middle of this shot below. She has a blue/teal tassel on her cap, and she's looking at the camera.
Morning sun was shining just over the rooftop. It looks like God's glory is blessing these young adults as they take off into their lives.
Philip left home at the crack of dawn to get here in time for Anna's big day!
And here she is -- officially in the program! Cross-Cultural Studies. Anna Kathryn Christiansen, B.S. She missed having "cum laude" after her name by a whisker :( She only had one "C" in her four years here. Otherwise she succeeded in making all A's and B's in her coursework.
The graduation speaker was Gary Chapman, famous author of the Five Love Languages book. He spoke about the importance of living our lives in a loving way -- are we kind? patient? generous? friendly? humble? serving others? -- and not only with those were close to, but with strangers or co-workers too. A very convicting and useful address to young adults heading into a work world where such love is hardly encouraged.
I nervously went to the front with the other nervous mothers and a few daddies to take shots.
As each department's graduates' names were called, the professors in that department lined up on the stage, and they hugged each one of their students as they walked across. I felt this was an especially tender gesture, one that can happen at a small school. Toccoa Falls has about 700 on-campus students, with another 250 online students.
This is fuzzy, but here's Anna, hugging a professor who taught her the skills she values.
And here's a short video I took of her walk across the stage:
Afterward the building was in chaos, but we caught a few shots of Anna with her professors.
Here she poses with all the Cross-Cultural Studies graduates. It's one of Toccoa Fall's bigger majors.
She introduced me to Dr. Crosby, one of her favorite professors.
We all went to eat Mexican for lunch. We were famished.
Then we came back to the guest house (where we're staying) for a nice visit before Philip and Anna headed back to Chattanooga. In a few days they proceed on to Peoria for the wedding!
This is Julia, using her flopped-over thick hair to prevent my taking a picture of her face.
This is Julia checking to see if I'd given up. I hadn't.
Philip told us about his job, his life, plans for school, etc.
My handsome hubby. I couldn't resist.
At last Julia has forgotten I'm taking pictures of her, and I succeed. Heehee.
Well, this was Anna's big day, and we are so very proud of her! I remember when we held her back a year, in 3rd grade, because she was so very far behind in math. I wondered if she'd ever do math. I wondered how in the world she'd ever master algebra! Now she's completed four years of challenging college work, done it very well, and had a fabulous internship in China to get practical experience in her skills.
She would love to go back to Asia soon for a long-term stint, but she has a pile of college debt to pay off, and that must come first. I'll keep you posted on what she ends up doing with herself.
Congratulations, dear girl! We love you so much!