Big Red graduation was this past weekend and it was as unusual as the year that preceded it. Most important, however, is it happened in person with graduates and family members in attendance. While there was a limitation on the number of guests, there was no bound on the happiness that always accompanies this most positive and affirming event.
Our class can take special joy and pride in this year’s commencement; our Class of ’74 scholar, Wendi Gonzalez, received her Bachelor of Architecture degree. Wendi’s five years on the Hill have been transformative and she has the distinction of being one of three architecture graduates who have been asked to return to Ithaca in the Fall to be a freshman mentor and teacher.
Wendi certainly did the work, but our class, through your support of our Class Scholarship, was instrumental in making this opportunity possible. In Wendi’s words:
What a year it has been! I am sure none of us planned to be stuck inside and wearing masks for an entire year and a half. And yet we all persevered, learned how to use Zoom, and now see light at the end of the tunnel.
I am happy to say I completed my architecture thesis and will be adding my book to the Fine Arts Library thesis collection as my predecessors have done before me. The Wines exam was a little harder than I thought it would be, but thankfully I made sure to carefully study Burgundy and Bordeaux. And while I was not able to sit next to my classmates and taste test in person, I did buy a few of the bottles from the list provided and was able to enjoy it with a small group of friends.
Upon graduating I am sure there will be many tears of joy and sadness as we close this chapter to start anew. Thankfully, I have been granted a Teaching Associate position in the Architecture department, so I do not have to say goodbye quite yet. I am ecstatic to see all the new freshmen arriving a week early to enjoy O-week in person and make their own memories on campus.
I think of my own memories and am immediately struck with a feeling of appreciation. I am so blessed that the Class of 1974 chose to support me through my journey at Cornell. A simple thank you does not seem sufficient for what I have been fortunate to experience during my time here. I will never know how to repay such kindness except to pay it forward. I will always be grateful for the opportunities I was given.
Thank you all so much for your support!
You have made a positive difference in the life of an extraordinary young woman!