U VA Graduation

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day for graduation. Grand day for all. When the odd balloons carried by students to help family find them in the crowd of black robes and bright faces were let go, they soared into the breezy, bright, blue sky. The Lawn was beautiful.

Glad to see the Colors applauded and saluted when they came forward. Shared the Pledge and National Anthem with thousands, not expecting either, but not knowing, really, what would be observed. This was my first graduation at The University.

Gov. Timothy Kaine’s speech was expertly delivered. I can see why many non-ideological voters would be quite taken with him. His positive personality came through in a very natural, engaging way.

His speech was good. I was so grateful it wasn’t some political junk. The Governor spoke on the theme of 400 years of Virginia’s celebration – yes, celebration. The graduates were encouraged to seek adventure, discovery and surprise like the original colonists.

Gov. Kaine touched on the big ideas in establishing and expanding the freedoms of the English-speaking Peoples in Virginia with their complexity without the Liberal pandering. Well done.

He mentioned the selfless service of graduates in teaching, the Peace Corps and Foreign Service, but forgot to add the selfless, dangerous service of the ROTC graduates going into the Armed Services.

President Casteen closed with one obligatory, Liberal comment about racial diversity. But, he finished with the stirring words, even though we may interpret them differently, of individual rights, freedom, the Rule of Law and the Republic.

My daughter, Maggie Kyle Bowden, graduated with a degree in English. She starts a marketing job in Atlanta on 1 July. So thrilled to share our joy and pride with her.

Thus, ends 11 years of my family having a kid on campus in Virginia universities. We may grow to miss I-64. Or not. The school loans will be paid in another 10 years.


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6 responses to “U VA Graduation”

  1. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Congratulations to Maggie! Dad, take a bow, too.

    Regarding your description of Governor Kaine’s speech … wouldn’t it be nice if we acknowledged more often that leaders of every party and faction can be engaging, inspirational, and persuasive, even if we don’t always agree with them.

    Best wishes to Maggie for a successful start to her career in Atlanta.

  2. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Thanks, Will. I used the term ‘engaging’ but Gov. Kaine went beyond that to charming. I can see his appeal to many voters.

  3. CR UVa Avatar

    I agree. I actually enjoyed Tim Kaine’s speech. Probably the last time that that will happen though.

    And congratulations to your daughter. I do not believe I ever had the pleasure of meeting her, but I enjoyed her weekly column in the Cav Daily. I guess I should have made the connection you had with her a while back.

  4. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Thanks CR. If you graduated, then best wishes and blessings for you too. It’s easy to tell the connection between my youngest daughter and I – she is the better writer.

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    JAB and Jim:

    Congratulations to your daughters. I hope that they carry with them through life the ideals from this poem by James Hay Jr:

    If you live a long, long time, and hold honesty of conscience above honesty of purse:

    And turn aside without ostentation to aid the weak;

    And treasure ideals more than raw ambition;

    And track no man to his undeserved hurt;

    And pursue no woman to her tears;

    And love the beauty of noble music and mist-vieled mountains and blossoming valleys and great monuments-

    If you live a long time and, keeping the faith in all these things hour by hour, still see that the sun gilds your path with real gold and that the moon floats in dream silver;


    Remembering the purple shadows of the lawn, the majesty of the colonnades, and the dream of your youth, you may say in reverence and thankfulness:

    “I have worn the honors of Honor, I graduated from Virginia”

  6. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Thanks, Anon. Read that poem, not for the first time, yesterday. Thank you.

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