Spud is now a college graduate. We are proud of him and pleased that he has completed his degree. He graduated on Friday, August 5th from the University of North Florida (UNF) with a Bachelor of Business Administration Business Management (Coggin College of Business).
The Colonel and I drove the six hours up to Jacksonville on graduation day. Spud's commencement ceremony would not begin until 2 p.m. The truck was loaded with some things Spud wanted from his old room at home. The plan was to stop at Spud's apartment, drop the things off, change our clothes and then follow him to the UNF Arena. We planned to be there in plenty of time but because of terrible traffic the entire drive up, we made it with minutes to spare before we had to go to the arena. We made the drop off, toured the apartment, changed clothes and followed Spud to the arena's parking lot, and walked to the arena without being late.
We parted ways with Spud as he had to get ready inside. We waited outside for The Colonel's parents and sister to arrive. They drove up together. The only family member that would not be present was Yam. She wanted to but had recently started her new job as graphic specialist with the county and could not get the time off. She was able to watch a live feed on line.
We did not have to wait long for the in-laws. Once the doors opened we filed in and found decent seats. The arena was filling up fast. It would be a full house.
The graduates began the filing in. Spud walked in on the same side of the room as we were sitting. We got his attention and waved...he now knew where we were seated. Every once in a while he would turn to look at us and smile or wave from his seat.
I was happy that all who had a speaking part kept it short and sweet. When it came time for the graduates to line up to walk across the stage, that too went quickly.
The above picture was a screen capture that Yam was able to get as she was watching at work. Thank God she was able to get it because the picture I took was terrible. Of course they pronounced Spud's last name wrong even after he submitted a phonetically spelled out version of it to the announcer. Have people forgotten or do they no longer teach that the silent E makes the vowel long? Whenever we get a phone call and the person mispronounces our last name, we immediately know they do not know us (and usually worth hanging up on).
After the ceremonies we all met up with Spud, officially met his nice girlfriend and had her take the family photos (Sure wished Yam could have been there too).
The UNF mascot is the Osprey and there is a pretty fountain that has an Osprey statue in the middle of it. I wanted to get a photo of Spud with that fountain in the background. We had to wait for our turn...every graduate seemed to be getting their photo taken there. Again Spud's girlfriend was the photographer. I also wanted to have my photo taken with Spud. My baby was now a college graduate and I was a proud mommy.
We all gave Spud his graduation cards and gifts once dinner was over. It was so good to see his smiling face as he opened each card.
Shortly after The Colonel and I returned home I posted a graduation picture of Spud on my Facebook page. I said how proud we were of him and congratulated him. One of our friends from our Air Force days left a comment beneath Spud's picture. It said, "Congratulations, Bird and The Colonel!" When I read that I was taken aback for a split second. I had not expected a congratulations sent our way. But I guess we were to be congratulated...we had just had our second child graduate college...we as parents made it possible for our children to obtain college degrees (without any debt to them or us) and gave them an excellent start upon their road to independent adulthood. Congratulations accepted.