Sunday, May 15, 2005


Graduation for the University of Mississippi was yesterday. Whitney Webb (former MTC Coordinator and current head of the Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program), Germain McConnell (former MTC Coordinator and current assistant dean of the School of Education as well as co-director of MTC) and I were in charge of the graduation ceremony for the School of Education. Everything went well. We moved the ceremony to the Indoor Practice facility because of rain. The time from the start of the procession to the dismissal of students took 57 minutes. And that was with more than 400 students.

The Teacher Corps Class of 2003 (that's the year they entered. I know, I know, it's weird that we designate classes by their entrance year and not their exit year) was part of the graduation. We had 15 (out of 20) who finished. 9 were at graduation and 7 showed up for the MTC reception afterwards. It was nice to meet the parents, spouses, and siblings. Dr. Mullins (co-director of MTC), Dr. Burnham (Dean of the SOE), Germain, and I all said a few words. I thanked the parents for trusting Teacher Corps and Mississippi with their children and also for instilling in their children the values that led them to pursue a program like MTC.

Richard Campbell was there with his wife Trea (who I finally got to meet after talking and emailing with her several times) and his five children who were all perfectly behaved. Sarah Alford was with her mom, sister, and friend. Sarah and her mom had gone to the general ceremony in the morning when it was pouring rain. Clint Blacker came with his parents and sister. Matt Alred was with his mom. She entertained me and Germain with several stories of Matt and his two brothers. Ryan DeFour's parents were there, and they predicated that Ryan would return to Mississippi at some point (he is from Michigan). Lan DePriest and his wife Karen, his parents, and his in-laws were there. Ashly Hood came with her father, sister, and baby. Ashly went to Ole Miss for undergrad as well and her father was wearing an Ole Miss polo shirt he refers to as his "$14,000 shirt."

The reception was catered by Panini. We had a finger sandwiches (not so good), broccoli salad (excellent) and assorted deserts, among other things.

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