HSSEAS 2011 Commencement

The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science 2011 commencement took place on the morning of Saturday, June 12, 2011 at Drake Stadium. The weather was cloudy. There was a slight drizzle at times, but fortunately, not strong enough to wet clothing. I much prefer this over the scorching sun that we have come to expect at this time of year. Graduating students of all engineering disciplines took their position at the adjacent intramural field. I waited with my fellow electrical engineering friends and watched as attendees made their way into the stadium and gradually filled the seats. At one point or another, everyone was on the phone with their parents, trying to determine the location of each other.

When it was time, the gates opened and we walked into the stadium, towards the center of the field. I searched the crowd of thousands for my family, but to no avail. I was towards the head of the line so I took a seat in the front. I continued the search for my family, along with everyone else. I had to stand on top of my chair, wave my commencement program, and speak on the phone with my brother before he could finally spot me. On the other hand, I had my brother take off his jacket and swing it around above his head in order for me to spot him.

Once all the students were inside the stadium, we took a seat and began with the commencement. Doctors of Philosophy were up first, followed by Masters of Science, and finally Bachelors. Our distinguished speaker was Dr.Patrick Soon-Shiong, a prominent figure in the bio-medical community. He has made significant advancements in medical treatments, and undoubtedly many positive impacts to society. In light of such, he discussed the potentials of us, the recent graduates, in shaping the future of society. We have the ability to bring forth solutions to many of the social ills. His speech, along with being caught in the moment of the commencement, sparked an interest for me to pursue a career path in academic. It seems immensely fulfilling to be able to discover new knowledge and applications. It made me have more respect for those who are involved with higher education, both graduates and professors.

I became excited as my turn neared to take the stage to receive my “diploma”. It must be too excited because frankly, I don’t remember much of it other than trying to watch where I was walking and not trip. After everyone took their turn, it was time to turn our graduation tassel. I guess cap tossing is more of a high school tradition but that didn’t stop me from tossing mine, which ended up hitting someone up front.

All in all, the commencement took around three hours. I thought it was enjoyable as I tried to soak in every moment of it. It was definitely a concoction of emotions. It was a celebration and recognition of the four years of demanding work. It was the end to my undergraduate. It was a joyous, memorable moment that I shared with my family and friends.

Go Bruins!


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