Sunday, May 02, 2021

Graduation Day is Complete to Bring Closure to Completing Master of Arts in Leadership and Communication

Picture of John Celebrating Following Graduation
What a fun day! Graduation for Fall and Spring 2020 graduates occurred in-person on Saturday, May 1. What a wonderful way to bring in May and add closure to my time at Washburn completing my education. My time in the program officially ended in March February 2020. I remember I had a large final project to finish and a final presentation to give to end the program. It went very well and I was so glad that I was able to finish before work got crazy with COVID. It feels good to finish the program officially by walking across a stage, getting pictures, and celebrating with my family, friends, classmates, instructors, and staff from Washburn University. It was a special day and and so glad we were able to participate in graduation yesterday.

Congratulations to all the fall and spring 2020 graduates. We had a good showing with around 250 coming back to participate in the celebration. Congrats to the graduates for spring 2021 who will walk next Saturday. 

The weather was beautiful and got better as the celebration continued. Sunny but with a slight breeze although a few times there were slight wind gusts that blew off mortarboard for some. With guest limitations, I had requested four passes for guests. Carrie, Erin, and Greg were able to attend with Greg being a late add and I was happy to have them all in attendance. I could hear them cheering and celebrating.

Picture of Master of Arts Graduates
Master of Arts Graduates
(Pictured: Gene, John, Amber, Eileen, Lori, and Nicole)
We all met at 1:30 in the Dance Studio of Petro to get situated, robes, and ready for the event. Gene and I went up to another Master of Arts graduate office but who did not show up to walk to “borrow” some waters from his fridge. Thanks Bruce! We waited in the Dance Studio until almost 3 before they lined us up and starting the procession to Yager Stadium.

A production company was hired to do the filming and streaming of this graduation and they will do it again next week for the Spring 2021 graduation. They did a good job! Gene and I were most impressed with the drone that was used where they got some really nice shots of the graduates and the stadium from far off videos that look really good. 

The Master of Arts Graduates Following the Ceremony
Master of Arts Graduates
Following the ceremony, we went to the north end of the stadium to take pictures. Eileen and Amber were in every class I took during the program. Gene I had in a few classes and I believe the same for Lori and Nicole where they were in a few classes with me. I know I enjoyed having Amber and Eileen in the classes so we could discuss, meet, and worry about the various papers, projects, etc. throughout the four years. I recall having various lunch meetings with them, or asking to have a meeting with Dr. Routsong to discuss a question or two about a paper. I also remember some late nights spent working with Amber, Eileen, and others that did not attend to finish projects. I recall the first semester when I started this program I spent nights and weekends working on the paper(s). It was a fun process and I would encourage others thinking about going back to school to do so. This was a good program to complete as it was 100% on-line and I could complete at my own pace which was nice as I recall a few times needing to finish before the course officially ended for vacation or other events, so that made it nice to have some flexibility in the program. 

The graduation ceremony was broadcast live in the stadium and then also to YouTube. If you would like to watch the full graduation, you can do so at this link. I enjoyed the day and happy to be done. I recognized some others that were graduating that I did not know had completed their undergraduate work which included one of our former student workers, Allison, and then Josh from ITS also graduated, so I was able to talk to them both and congratulate them both.

The video clip below jumps straight to where the Master of Arts group is recognized and walks across the stage, so you can see me and fellow graduates of the program walk in the video below.

Following the ceremony, Carrie, Greg, Erin, and I went to find a place to celebrate. We had planned to drive to Lawrence to eat there and hang out, but decided to remain in Topeka. We tried Blind Tiger but as you would expect, it was packed, so we ended up at Happy Basset on 29th Street. We called Brenda and she came out to meet us for a drink before we headed to we had planned to be another bar and food, but ended up going to Yuki Restaurant of Japan so we had a full celebration where they cook on the table. It was a perfect end to a perfect day! Following dinner, we went to Sheridan’s Frozen Custard which capped off a perfect day.

Picture of Me Being done
Thanks to Carrie for her willingness to read over my papers before I would submit them to be graded. Sometimes she would not know or understand the content, but she was always willing to read them over and provide corrections. 

I relied on my Mom to proof read almost all of my papers and I appreciate her doing so. I know a few times we had issues sharing them remotely so that she could review and provide corrections, but it was appreciated. I also have to say thanks to my Aunt Jane who proofed a paper one summer when she was visiting. 

Thanks to Greg, Erin, Joan, and Eddie for encouragement as I went through the various classes.

Thanks to our instructors and specifically Dr. Routsong, Mr. Peterson, VP Mazachek, Dr. Schnoebelen, Dr. Pilgram, and countless others… Thanks to Communication and Leadership Departments for your help and encouragement. 

Finally, I would like to thank Eileen, Amber, Gene, Bruce, Sarah, Miranda, Lori, Nicole, and others not mentioned from the various classes where we interacted and exchanged discussion posts to complete our projects. The countless projects we worked on in group sessions, thank you for making the process enjoyable. Congrats on your completion of Master of Arts!

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