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Graduation Time

By Merrill Ogden - | May 11, 2022

It’s that time of year again. The graduates are coming! The graduates are coming!

Last Friday, most of the state colleges and universities held their graduation ceremonies. We were at a medical appointment in Provo, so we didn’t get to a graduation in Logan at USU where we were invited.

We had lunch at Molly’s where I couldn’t help but notice a UVU graduate. It’s hard not to notice a young woman wearing a green graduation gown. She seemed pleased to receive my smile and words of congratulations.

By the way, it was our first time eating at Molly’s. It was really wonderful and seems to have a very loyal following. They admit that they have very limited and strange hours for the public, since it’s primarily a catering business. (753 W. Columbia Lane – only open W, Th, and F from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – cafeteria style)

When we moved from Richfield to Sanpete in 1984, we thought we would be back in Richfield in time for our oldest child to start kindergarten. As it turned out Sanpete latched onto us and we latched onto Sanpete.

All three of our children graduated from high school here and then from Snow College. Each of them moved on and graduated from different universities in the state. All of them received great advice from commencement speakers at their graduations.

Merlin Olsen spoke at my oldest son’s graduation at USU. Olsen had played football for the Aggies and went on to play his entire career with the Rams in the NFL for fifteen years. He was an actor on the TV show “Little House on the Prairie.” He was an all-around good guy and the football field in Logan is named after him. He passed away at age 69 in 2010.

He told my son (and fellow graduates) to “Fear less, Hope more, Eat less, Chew more. Whine less, Dream more. Talk less, Say more. Love more and all good things will be yours.”

When my daughter graduated from SUU in Cedar City, then Governor Huntsman was the speaker. Huntsman had wives, mothers, and grandmothers of the graduates stand. Then he asked husbands, fathers and grandfathers to stand. He recognized all of them as having had a great influence on the graduates.

He then said (and remember this was years ago), “Cost of tuition for a semester at SUU – $1,800. Cost of textbooks for that semester – $400.00. The looks on your family members’ faces when you’ve finally reached today – priceless.”

I had to admit that it was “priceless” to see my daughter march across campus in the cap and gown parade with bagpipes playing. It was a thrill to hear her name read and see her walk across the stage to receive her diploma awarding her a bachelor’s degree in nursing. It was a “parent moment.”

I believe all graduations make for parent moments. Kent, our youngest, graduated from the University of Utah. At his College of Engineering convocation, I got a little surprise.

I opened the printed program at the event and it came to my mind that we don’t always communicate well in our family. We do talk about some things. We often share what movie we’ve gone to and liked recently – you know, really “important” things like that.

But, it wasn’t until I opened the program at the graduation that I found out that our son was listed as being on the Dean’s Honor List and the recipient of an endowed scholarship and a foundation scholarship. Hmm – who knew? – not me apparently.

The dean of the college was impressed with the graduating class. He pointed out that it is pretty much accepted that engineering is the most difficult major on college campuses today. He said that an Internet search would bear that out. I tried it. He’s right.

Local high schools are graduating a new batch of educated young people soon. I believe that we should all be proud of Sanpete’s class of 2022. Finishing high school is a nice accomplishment.

There are many in the world who don’t get that far with formal schooling. There are many who don’t have the opportunity for an education as we have in this country.

Take the time to congratulate those graduates in your neighborhood and circle of friends and family. A graduation card with or without a few bucks in it would be a nice token which would be appreciated and remembered.

I still remember some of the graduation gifts from family and friends when I graduated from Richfield High in 1970. I can still visualize the travel alarm clock which an aunt and uncle gave me. I used it for years.

So – congratulations Sanpete graduates! Enjoy your graduation and “commencement ceremonies.” And remember what that word “commencement” means. As much as you’d like to think that you’re now “finished” – you’ve only just “commenced.” — Merrill

P.S. I think I should give you a few “graduation quotations.” You may be able to use one when you congratulate a graduate. (Hey, that kind of rhymed!)

“When they hand you your diploma, Keep Moving! – Just in case they try to take it back” — Author Unknown

“A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that “individuality” is the key to success.” — Robert Orben

“The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after.” — Newton D. Baker

“The tassel’s worth the hassle!” — Author Unknown

“Now that you have graduated, just remember: Bosses don’t usually accept notes from your mother.” — Melanie White

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” — Vidal Sasson

“Graduation speeches were invented largely in a belief that college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated.” — Garry Trudeau

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