154th Elmira College commencement
Emotions always seem to run high on graduation day. The pure joy of finishing a four year education, mixed with the fear and anxiety of what lies ahead. As our Bill Mich tells us, it was much of the same Sunday at the 154th Elmira College Commencement.
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ELMIRA, N.Y. -- After four years of hard work, and thousands of dollars in tuition, many say graduation day is not so much for the students, but for those who helped them along the way.
"It's has been a tough road but it's definitely for my parents so it is great that they are here to enjoy this day with me," said graduate Brock Sawyer.
Friends and family packed the stands at First Arena to be a part of the 154th Elmira College Commencement. For those wearing the purple and gold, this was the first day of the rest of their lives. Some with concrete plans ahead of them.
"I'm headed to St. Bonaventure University for 2 years to finish up an education degree there," said graduate Allison Eldridge.
"I'm getting married in two weeks and moving to Pensacola, Florida," said graduate Katie Leo.
Others are keeping their options open.
"Maybe go to Latin America or something like that and use my international business degree," said graduate Alex Vansteinburgh.
"Trying to continue to play hockey somewhere, so looking for a tryout somewhere. No real plans yet," Sawyer said.
The commencement speaker was Dr. Thomas Keith Meier, the college's 12th president who is retiring at the end of the month. ALthough Meier and the rest of the graduating students will be moving on to new things in life, they remain grateful for the lessons learned and the people they met during their time at Elmira College.
"Even when things seem hard, don't give up because we made it this far. We got it," said graduate Ashton Eldridge.
"I couldn't have done it without you. And good luck and kick some butt," said Leo.
The class of 2012 was nicknamed "astonishing." The new graduates say they will try to live up to that nickname well beyond their college years.