16 December 2008

I Confer to you....

...the degree of Master of Science.

It was a joy to be able to be present for Kim's (Mark's sister) graduation this past Friday at the University of Reading, in Reading, England.Mark and I met Kim and his mom in Reading Friday morning after we flew down from Aberdeen. We were greeted by London fog (what else?!) for my first official time in London (and I never did see the sun the 2.5 days we were there!). We enjoyed catching up with both Kim and Darlene as we don't see them often enough. A little before 3pm we headed to the old campus of the University of Reading where the graduation was to take place.
While Kim donned her robe, the rest of us secured an extra ticket for me to sit in the actual ceremony instead of the video feed room. Then, we wandered out to a courtyard to snap a few photos before it started sprinkling again (see the raindrops on not-so-great photo-of-me below).Because it was rather chilly outside (I had taken off my big coat for the above photo, so don't be deceived), and because we couldn't just take our seats (there was another graduation going on the hour before Kim's), we looked for somewhere to warm up. We were glad the University provided such a place in this large tent hosting tables/chairs and a couple places where you could buy coffee/snacks.Eventually Kim found us in the tent and we snapped a few shots of her before she had to head away to line up for the ceremony.
Here are some of Kim's classmates from her Speech and Language Therapy degree.
Can't forget the program cover.
The inside of the beautiful chapel with massive pipe organ snapped during the processional of the professors and all the important university dignitaries.
This is the Chancellor, who said to the graduands (as they were called) "I confer to you the degree of...." and then later shook the hands of each graduate. In front of him is the massive mace. I was completely enthralled with the over-sized ornamental piece. (See video below for how large it looks when someone carries it.)
This is the gentleman who called out each person's name.
We were fortunate to have very good seats. Only about 10 rows back and right next to the aisle where the graduates walked down/stood while waiting for their name to be called. This graduation was unlike any other I had attended! The graduates were immediately brought in and the names called, without hardly any preceding talking/speeches.
Here's a short video of Kim as she is called to "walk across the platform" (though it was more like up some stairs and back down without much walking across anything). (Sorry for the blur/bounciness of the video -- I was handing it to Mark who had a better view.)

video
You might wonder why Kim didn't receive any actual diploma on this video. I'm not sure their reasoning in not giving it out on stage, but once she went out of the chapel doors and into a foyer area, she received the coveted piece of paper.

video
I also have to apologize for this video. I thought I had figured out how to turn it before I posted it, but it must not have worked :(

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