Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Director's Corner

DeniseSame gown, new thrill

I had the pleasure this past week of attending the first-annual scholarship dinner for Beta Theta Pi. It was a great event focused on the academic achievements of members of the house. The entire event was coordinated and carried out by members of the house and was held at a local restaurant owned by one of their advisors. There were a number of administrators, faculty and alumni there, including Interim President Larry Large.

It was one of those great representations, which we can see all over campus this time of year, of what makes Willamette a strong community: commitment to education and to one another. 

The real reward, however, comes on May 16 when graduates from each of our schools grace their respective commencement stages, decked out in caps and gowns as their proud friends and family look on with a glisten in their eyes. For all the years I've participated in commencement, including two of my own, I still get a shiver when I hear the first note of the bagpipes and watch the processional begin with members of the faculty adorned in the colors of their disciplines. Then the graduates come: an electric mix of nervous, terrified, sad and ecstatic.

It's a beautiful thing, this sea of brilliant, interesting and inspiring individuals, balanced at once on the edge between student and alumnus.

In that one brief moment I can actually forgive the closing of the Bistro for the summer.  

Congratulations to the class of 2010!

Denise Crawford Signature

Denise Callahan '95, MBA'00
Senior Director of Alumni Relations