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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

What We’re Really Celebrating

What+We%E2%80%99re+Really+Celebrating

Letter from the editor

Caroline Maas, editor-in-chief 

When I graduated from kindergarten, I walked across the stage and offered my left hand to the principal in exchange for my diploma. I’m left-handed, so, at the time it made sense (can you blame me?). The principal graciously took my left hand and handed me my diploma, looking over my shoulder at my parents, exchanging a humorous smirk.  

From my middle school graduation, I remember stifling hot heat that frizzled my hair and the rain that came pouring down immediately as we walked out of the ceremony.  

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As for my high school graduation, the only noteworthy thing I can recall was the bright orange gown that my overtly eclectic grandmother wore; I also vividly remember the table setting that she arranged on my dining room table, featuring my senior headshot, fake votive candles surrounding it and trail mix scattered intermittently about, making the whole set up look more like a shrine than graduation décor…but that’s another story.  

All of this to say that, for graduations to be made a big a deal out of as they are, I sure don’t remember much about the days they actually occurred. As the day of my own college graduation approaches, I wonder what I’ll remember from the day itself. The inevitable answer? Probably not that much. And I think that’s okay.  

In reality, we don’t walk across the stage at graduation with the intention of remembering the ceremony itself; we walk across the stage at graduation in celebration of all of the small, much less eventful things that helped us become who we are because of how we were loved at Wofford.  

When I walk across that stage, I’ll think of the people I met at Wofford who taught me how to laugh at myself. I’ll think of the time my roommate found a Lacoste rain-suit from 1975 in the back of her mom’s closet and wore it around the apartment for an entire day. 

When I shake Dr. Samhat’s hand (this time with my right hand), I’ll think of Dr. Sweitzer and Grinnell, who affirmed my ideas and taught me the value of confidence in my own intellect. When I receive that Bible, signed by all of the professors who have loved and taught me so faithfully, I’ll think of my religion professors Dr. Dixon and Mathewson, who pushed me to the ends of what I believe spiritually, and Rev. Ron, who was always there to help me account for discrepancies between theology and academia.  

My walk across the stage will be indicative of much more than just a walk to receive my diploma, but it will be a kind of walk down memory lane when I recall the hedgehog funeral that my friends and I had after the death of our freshman “mascot”, Mr. Bean, and the leap year that inspire my friends to wear their old prom dresses to Longhorn Steak House in honor of what they coined as being such a momentous day.  

So, here’s to the things of Wofford, the graduation ceremony-sized things, the everyday-sized things and the memories so small that remembering them feels like listening to a whisper. Here’s to the people who have watched me break and helped piece me back together, and to the ones who reminded me who I was when I was sure I’d forgotten.  

I probably won’t remember what I wore walking across the stage at graduation, or what I ordered for dinner the night before. But I will surely remember all of the bite-sized memories that got me there. And that, after all, is what we’re really celebrating.   

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