by Brendan Mathews
In his commencement address to the Class of 2006 on May 21, Gov. Tim Kaine admitted that he couldn’t remember any of the graduation speeches he had witnessed. “I was the speaker at one of my graduations — my high school graduation,”he confessed. “And I can’t even remember what I said.”
Instead, Kaine pointed to the small moments that he still carries with him from those days — the snapshots that seem to capture something larger than the moments themselves: a longremembered hug from the girlfriend who dumped him before senior prom, the unabashed hug that one of his friends gave to his parents after the ceremony.
at Final Exercises saw plenty of snapshots being taken:
both the kind taken with a camera,
and the kind that flash suddenly
into the mind. Long after the
words spoken from the podium
fade from memory, both kinds of
snapshots will remain, reminding
graduates, family members,
friends and others of the Class of
2006’s last day on Grounds.
What follows are a selection of
these snapshots from Finals Weekend;
moments that will live in
• Two graduates, their mortarboards adorned with colored tape proclaiming them“ Triple ’Hoos” and listing the dates of their bachelor’s, master’s and finally, Ph.D’s. “We’ve been here a long time,” said one, as they raced toward the Lawn.
• A parent asked an Information Booth attendant, “How much are the programs?” The answer: “If you’ve got a graduate in there, you’ve already paid for it.”
• A family of five crossed McCormick Road near the West Range, each wearing a brilliantly colored robe — the traditional attire of the Yoruba of Nigeria.
Closer to the chapel, a father, a graduate and two teenage sons walked together along the red brick sidewalk, each wearing khaki pants, navy blazers and colorful bow ties — the traditional attire of the Virginia gentlemen.
n n n A graduate, his black robe flapping slightly in the breeze, black hair welling out around the sides of his cap, stopped at an information booth, fresh from walking the Lawn.“ I have a question for you,” he said to the attendant. “Where do I get a job?”
“You must be an English major,” the attendant said.
The graduate nodded. “I can write brochures for you,” he said.
Items reported missing
“I was leading the way and then I turned around and four were gone,” said the young man who came to the chapel information booth seeking help locating his wayward family members.
• Army National Guardsman Michael Egan walked the Lawn — two years after he had planned on graduating. Egan shipped out to Iraq in March 2004— two months before he was scheduled to graduate from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences — and served until February 2005, during which time his company was the target of the December 2004 “chow hall” bombing. Egan completed his double major in electrical and aerospace engineering in December, and now works for a satellite manufacturer in northern Virginia.
• The University’s “V” decals, handed out by the hundreds at the information booths, were a hit among the under-14 set as well as those old enough to drive. “Hey, Mom! I’ve got a sticker,” said one boy. “Can I get a car now?”
Rector of the Board of Visitors Thomas F. Farrell II
received a raucous response during
his introduction of Gov. Kaine.
When he said that Kaine had long
advocated “higher teacher pay,” graduates of the
Curry School of
As President Casteen awarded degrees to the graduates of the
School of Medicine, the
graduating class from the School
of Nursing rose and gave the
green-and-black robed M.D.s a
boisterous standing ovation. The
• If there had been an applause-meter on the Lawn, the winners would have been:
• The McIntire School of Commerce grads, famous for the volume and duration of their cheers
• Recipients of bachelor’s degrees from the College of Arts& Sciences, who proved that there is strength in numbers
President Casteen’s mention of
16-year-old master’s degree recipient
There were many fine words spoken from the podium
during Finals: Tom Wolfe’s Valedictory
remark, on May 20, that now
was the “perfect time to make a
huge difference in such a confused
and, I would say, chaotic universe”;
Gov. Kaine’s charge to
embrace “the simple and enduring
beauty of adventure, discovery
and surprise”; President Casteen’s
recognition of the diversity of talents
and activities that marked the
Class of 2006.
These words may live in memory,
but the one unforgettable
sight from Finals may be the joyful
riot of colors on a brilliant Sunday
morning: a dazzling blue sky over
Crystal,Brevy Cannon and Matt Kelly contributed to this
Lifelong Learning: U.Va. Pays the Way
For hundreds of U.Va. employees who have pursued academic degrees while working full-time, graduation marks a major step forward– and perhaps a little more free time in the months ahead.
The University offers a variety of ways for faculty and staff to continue their education, chief among them the Tuition Waiver and Tuition Reimbursement and Assitance programs.The Tuition Waiver program allows eligible employees to enroll in one U.Va. course per semester free of charge, and the course does not have to be job-related.
the Tuition Reimbursement/Assistance program,
departments reimburse eligible
employees for job-related education
and training, either after
the course is completed (reimbursement)
or before (assistance). Employees can take up
to 11 undergraduate or eight
graduate credits per semester,
at either U.Va. or another
accredited institution. Medical
2005, 199 classified staff, 74 faculty and 164 Medical
Center employees benefited
from the Tuition Waiver program, while 378 classified staff and
fact that U.Va. pays for its employees to take classes to
better themselves is a testimony
to the commitment that the
University has to the community
and its employees,” said
Michael Payne, a Facilites Management
More information about employee educational benefits is available at: www.hrs.virginia.edu/educben
Finals By the Numbers
Prior to Finals, approximately
40 full-time Facilities
worked around the Grounds to
ensure that the Lawn and other
Chairs: Approximately 45,000 chairs, at 50 sites, including 20,000 on the Lawn, were set up for Finals Weekend.
Workers installed 12
stages of various sizes around
Grounds and furnished them
with podiums, tables, stairs,
ramps or lifts, skirting, rails and
Food: At food stands around
Grounds, U.Va. Catering planned to serve
• 17,000 petite gourmet
and Video: Sound systems were provided for more
than 30 U.Va. venues, and for
this first time, Finals was broadcast
live to two massive screens
on the Lawn, to allow parents
and other guests a better view
facts and figures are available
2006 by the Rector and Visitors