This past Saturday, my stepson Ian received his degrees in Secondary Education and History from Mansfield University. We arrived at the football field (the site of the commencement) two hours before the ceremony began. Good thing we arrived so early because the place filled up fast and it was standing room only before the ceremony began.

It was a very warm sunny day in Mansfield. I ended up getting a massive sunburn on my face and neck. At 11 o'clock sharp, the 325 graduating students, along with faculty and special guests, entered Karl Van Norman Field. The keynote speaker was a 1987 graduate of Mansfield University named Dolores Stafford. She shared her life's journey with the 2018 graduates. A couple of life lessons that she shared included telling the students that there is no doubt about it, where you start and where you finish depends on the effort you put forth. "The world owes you nothing," she said. She also made a great point about attitude. She told the graduates to have a good attitude when being interviewed for a job. She owns two companies herself and said that she would rather hire someone with little knowledge about the job and a great attitude, than someone who knows all about the job and has a terrible attitude. She said 'I can teach someone the job, I can't teach them to have a good attitude". She also spoke about following your dreams and not letting anyone else tell you that you can't or shouldn't follow your dreams. She said she wouldn't have made it to where she is today if she listened to one of her co-workers years ago, who told her not to volunteer for a task because it made the rest of them look bad. She volunteered for that task anyway and went on consult the United States Government because of what she learned while volunteering to do that job.

After graduation was over we posed for a few pictures with Ian and we eventually drove to Williamsport to go out for dinner with him, one of his best friends Rachel that he met the first day at drum camp four years ago, and Rachel's family. I did not choke up but I felt an incredible sense of pride for what Ian has accomplished. I look forward to seeing him pursue his career as a history teacher, teaching and inspiring the young minds of future generations.

Ian graduation pics


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