University of Richmond Graduation

I’m officially a college graduate!  After five years at University of Richmond, I have finally completed all of my homework, exams, and studying, and last Monday, May 9 marked the academic culmination of my time here.  Even though I am finished with my academic work, I still have unfinished business on the track, and for that reason I will be remaining in Richmond through the end of June to compete in the NCAA and USA Championships at 10,000 meters.

You might be asking yourself, “Graduation on a Monday?  That seems inconvenient for working people…”  You’re right – it is somewhat inconvenient for family and friends with full-time jobs and real lives to come to a commencement ceremony on a Monday afternoon at 1:00.  It wasn’t that way for all of the UR Class of 2011, though.  Most of them had their ceremony on Sunday, but the Track & Field and Baseball teams had competitions in Charlotte, so we were unable to attend our own graduation.  Luckily for us, the university offered a special ceremony to honor graduating athletes who had to miss the main ceremony due to a conflict with a University-sanctioned team commitment.

For the track team, that “University-sanctioned team commitment” was our Atlantic 10 Conference Championship, which was held on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9.  A few athletes who were only competing on Saturday were able to drive back from Charlotte, NC to Richmond in time for the main ceremony, but those of us who were competing on Sunday had no choice but to attend the special commencement the following day.  In fact, the race that I ran (the 5k) started just fifteen minutes after the time I was scheduled to walk across the stage in the Robins Center.

When I woke up on Monday morning, the alternate day of graduation, I suddenly realized the whirlwind of a day I was about to have.  “First things first,” I thought to myself, “I want to go for my long run.”  I returned two hours later feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.  After a quick shower and a bite to eat, I got dressed and headed to Cannon Memorial Chapel for our Athlete Commencement Ceremony.

The ceremony itself, I kid you not, lasted nine minutes.  NINE.  If that doesn’t seem entirely clear, the first person in line walked into the chapel at 1:03 and at 1:12 our university president said, “This concludes our ceremony.”  You do the math!   After that came the pictures…we took pictures with every single combination of people possible, but I’m not one to shy away from the camera and I enjoyed spending that time with some of my closest friends so I wasn’t complaining!

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After eating with my family in Carytown at Can Can (a French brasserie), we’d reached the not-so-fun part of the day – packing and moving out of my apartment into a residence hall on the other side of campus (where I’ll be staying until my track season ends), a venture that ended up taking about eight hours.  Needless to say, I’m glad I won’t have to do that again for a few weeks!

Now that I’m settled into my new living situation, the days seem to fly by.  We go to practice, eat lunch, relax, second run, eat dinner, relax some more, go to bed and repeat.  Sometimes I’ll go to work at the on-campus gym for a few hours, but that’s about as much variety as I mix into the schedule on any given day.  My main focus is on running fast for the next few weeks, so I’m trying to make sure that everything I do points towards that goal.

On the agenda for tonight: work at the gym and watch an episode of Modern Family (my current favorite TV show)!


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