This evening I will attend a celebration in honor of one of our doctoral candidates who received her Ph.D. at NDSU’s Winter Commencement this past Friday. The celebration was originally scheduled for Friday, but a Bison win the week prior necessitated a shift of plans. It is difficult for other social engagements to compete these days with Bison football, even if it is the celebration of a major academic life achievement. But hey, I’m not bitter.
Thankfully, celebrations are always welcome even if they are arranged around major sporting events. Particularly such a celebration as this – the acquisition of a new improved title – from doctoral candidate to Doctor. It is a noteworthy transition to be sure.
I remember my own moment of transition well – it seems so long in the coming when you are working toward it and then almost anti-climatic after you have arrived. You wonder what you will do with all your free time now that the major educational hurdle has been successfully cleared. Alas, the notion of free time quickly evaporates as you realize that life post graduation is simply a new set of hurdles. Such is life in so many arenas. Things worth having are worth working for and things worth working for necessarily have hurdles.
Our department was thrilled that two students were awarded emergency management doctoral degrees at the commencement on Friday – both women. They are the eighth and ninth to receive doctoral degrees in Emergency Management from NDSU. Of note, six of those degrees have gone to women. This gives me special glee. We also had 11 of our undergraduates receive a bachelor’s degree in emergency management this semester.
So tonight we will gather to celebrate one woman’s success and her transition to a new label and status. Graduation is one of those life events where time stands still for a glorious few moments – hopefully long enough for the graduate to take in the satisfaction of accomplishing such an important milestone. All too soon life moves forward once again and the graduates are off and running to their next life goal.
Congratulations to all our graduates on achieving their goals and graduating. Special congratulations to our two newest Ph.D. holders - Dr. Mariama Yakubu and Dr. Sarah Bundy. You all worked hard and you deserve to sit back and soak in the accolades. Then it is onward and upward! Don’t forget to come see us from time to time as you go out and change the world.
Day one thousand two hundred and sixty-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da