I have written in the past about how Graduation is my favourite day of the academic year. I love seeing graduates dressed in their finery, meeting with their families, and sharing in the celebration. I like to think that of the several hundred students graduating who were in my various classes, that I had a small part to play in their success. I get a special satisfaction seeing students who struggled throughout their time in College finally make it to Graduation - no matter how long or difficult it was, they finally made it. I have fond memories of my own graduation - though now it is nearly 30 years ago.
My message to all graduates, but especially to those who were in my classes, is to first - enjoy the day and celebrate a well-deserved achievement. Secondly - though for many this day may be the only time that they graduate with gowns and lots of formality, for most there will be many other forms of graduation to come. Postgraduate study is a path that many will travel, but others will complete more courses, and mark other special achievements. Graduation is not just receiving a parchment with your name and degree on it, it is also the point for many who will graduate from formal education for the first time and move into the workplace. Lifelong learning means just that - and it continues from today.
Many congratulations to all NCI graduates today!