Archive for Sunday, May 18, 2008

Students cap memorable year with walk down hill

Kansas University graduate Marshall Hilton, of St. Louis, swings into the air while holding onto his classmates during commencement on Sunday at Memorial Stadium. About 4,000 graduates took the traditional walk down Campanile hill to mark the completion of their degrees.

Kansas University graduate Marshall Hilton, of St. Louis, swings into the air while holding onto his classmates during commencement on Sunday at Memorial Stadium. About 4,000 graduates took the traditional walk down Campanile hill to mark the completion of their degrees.

May 18, 2008, 3:59 p.m. Updated May 19, 2008, 12:00 a.m.

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Kansas University's 136th commencement ceremony

Some sights and sounds from the Kansas University graduation on Sunday, May 18, 2008.

As they walked into Kansas University's Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the Class of 2008 brought with it a litany of accomplishments that would make any graduate proud.

About 4,000 students participated in the university's 136th commencement exercises, though at least one faculty marshal noted that this year's crowd seemed a bit less energetic than in years past.

Perhaps it was because, after watching their classmates win the football Orange Bowl and men's basketball national championship, this year's graduates were just all partied out.

"You are members of the Class of 2008, the year KU's football team won the Orange Bowl and the basketball team won the Final Four," KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway told the graduates. "For the rest of your lives, you will remember 2008."

Jake Neu, a sports management student from Lawrence, said that while he'd remember his classes and the degree he earned, one memory would stand above the rest.

"Jayhawks winning the national championship. Couldn't ask for a much better year than this," he said.

In addition to recognizing the athletic accomplishments this year, Hemenway also paid tribute to the national champion debate team and several departments that ended the year with top rankings according to U.S. News and World Report.

Sam Kaplan, a student graduating with a degree in chemistry, decided he had enjoyed his time at KU so much he just couldn't bear to stop going to school now.

"I'm ecstatic. In fact, I'm not : I'm actually sad to leave, and that's why I decided to become a professional student," he said. "I'm going to go to grad school and continue. I found out the real world expects results, so I'm just going to stick on campus."

In addition to the 4,000 graduates from spring semester, all graduates since the last commencement - including summer and fall 2007 - were eligible to take part in commencement.

Harihar Shiwakoti, a graduate student from Nepal, took a time-out from his full-time job to take his final trip down Campanile Hill.

"I graduated in December and have been working in California, but because my parents were coming back to watch me graduate, I came back," he said.

Christine Downey-Schmidt, chairwoman of the Kansas Board of Regents, delivered the opening speech to the graduates and encouraged the Jayhawks to do something in their lives that will make the world a better place.

"You will leave a footprint," she said. "For that footprint to make the world a little better is my request of you."

KU graduate James Finley perhaps summed up the feelings of his fellow students better than anyone else.

"I'm trying to soak up what I can from KU," he said. "This is going to be my last experience with KU for a while."

Though the temperature was more mild than in years past, at least two people reported feeling overcome by the heat and in need of medical assistance. There were, however, no serious injuries.

Comments

Joel Hood 7 years, 2 months ago

"Sam Kaplan, a student graduating with a degree in chemistry, decided he had enjoyed his time at KU so much he just couldn't bear to stop going to school now.' I'm ecstatic. In fact, I'm not : I'm actually sad to leave, and that's why I decided to become a professional student," he said. "I'm going to go to grad school and continue. I found out the real world expects results, so I'm just going to stick on campus.' "Sam, congrats on your degree, but I don't think quotes like this will be good for your long-term prospects. Eventually, even grad students are usually expected to produce results - I'm just sayin'... :-)

Richard Boyd 7 years, 2 months ago

It was a nice day! It seems that whatever the weather is KU graduation signals the hottest day of the year. I suspect it is the stadium. Walking across the 50 yard line one does gain a certain appreciation of the conditions the football players endure on those hot early fall games!I finished my EIGHT years with an MD. In some ways I feel like I just started and in other ways I do not remember my 38 years before 2000!One minor confession, since I had to commute to Wichita after the "show", I slipped out before the all to soon STICKY Champagne flew.

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