FORTY-SIX DEGREES AWARDED AT DECEMBER COMMENCEMENT. Deb Towle cried softly though smiling. She was cradling granddaughter Sofia on her lap. Towle wiped her eyes and said, “These are tears of joy. My daughter is graduating; she’s my youngest child. She has worked so hard and I’m very proud of her.”
Lyndon State College unleashed 46 new graduates into the world the afternoon of December 9th. The graduates and their family and friends listened to opening remarks by Donna Dalton, Dean of Academic Affairs and President Steven Gold. Arizona-based attorney Earl Daniels ’72 gave an inspired Special Presentation, to the hushed audience in the Alexander Twilight Theatre. Daniels exhorted the graduates to “be like Bobby Kennedy” and not settle for “mediocrity” but to “rage for excellence.”
Dr. Linda Metzke delivered the keynote address to the graduates. She referenced a painting by Chicago artist Ivan Albright entitled, “That Which I Should Have Done, I Did Not Do” and how the regret in the title, in Albright’s words, “happens to almost everybody, almost every day.” This painting and its title have given her a philosophy she tries to follow every day. The ten point philosophy includes embracing change, taking responsibility, staying positive and taking risks. Metzke warned the graduates not to stay in a hated job, adding, “Choose something you can’t live without doing each day!” She also asked the audience to choose to “live a life of empathy, compassion, joy, growth, satisfaction and significance”, in short, she added, “to the fullest.”
The graduates celebrated with guests and chatted over refreshments afterwards in the Theatre lobby. The graduates were eager to share their plans for the future. Many are staying in Lyndon and its environs including one graduate starting mid-December at a local radio station in the sales and marketing department. Another grad plans to take her teaching licensure test to enable her to teach yoga and physical education at a Lyndon-area elementary school. A third graduate is using her Psychology degree to begin working with fourth graders as a Behavior Interventionist. At least one graduate, however, is looking beyond the immediate area. A TV Studies and Broadcast grad is sending demo reels to television stations in the mid-west looking for either an anchoring or reporting position.
The December commencement caps off a year of festivities celebrating Lyndon State College’s centennial year. Dalton’s closing remarks alluded to the 100 year anniversary as she ushered in the era and the next 100 years of graduates.
Deb Towle’s daughter, Jacqueline Proulx was ecstatic. The same day she graduated, she was offered and accepted a job. Proulx will serve as service coordinator with Northeast Kingdom Human Services. Her mother beamed while more ‘tears of joy’ threatened to spill.