Wick Sloane ’76 on community college graduations.

What’s lost in the noise around community college graduation rates is community college graduations. My first community college graduation was in 2002, at Windward Community College in Hawaii.

That evening at Windward, the graduates came up the stairs on the right side of the stage, received their degrees, walked across the stage and down the stairs on the left. At the bottom of those stairs, a little girl, eight or nine years old, was waiting. She was holding a lei. When her father came down the stairs with his diploma, he bent over to let her put the lei around his neck. He picked her up and, diploma in one hand, daughter in the other, ran to his wife who was waiting to hug them both. These upside-down scenes at community colleges, with parents as the graduates, are my favorites.

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