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:: By Mary Ruth Yoe

:: Photography by Dan Dry

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Editor's Notes:
Dampened enthusiasm

The second session of the University’s 485th Convocation got off to a wet and chilly start. But the luck of the Maroons prevailed.

photo:  editor's notes
Pomp and precipitation: June's College graduates march toward Harper Quad.

The first Friday in June sped by as only rare June days do. It was what poet James Russell Lowell once wrote about as a “perfect” day, when “‘Tis as easy now for the heart to be true/As for grass to be green or skies to be blue.” In short, a perfect day for Alumni Weekend and one made more so by visits, scheduled and impromptu, with three alumni whose graduation dates span 69 years of Chicago history. Wai-Keung Cheng, MBA’73, is profiled on page 40. That conversation was sandwiched by Magazine office drop-ins John G. Morris, AB’37, an ex-pat photography editor in town from Paris for reunion, visits, and business; and Sam Gill, AB’05, the Magazine’s former “student worker” (and one of Chicago’s three Rhodes Scholars this year), who was attending his first College reunion.

The second Saturday in June was, unfortunately, less rare: the grass was a well-watered green but the sky was hardly blue. At 5:30 a.m. it was raining—make that pouring—the kind of rain that clatters on skylights and splatters on clothes. It was still pouring at 8  a.m., as Convocation planners checked the forecast and their options. The first priority was the safety of the diplomas: could they weather the weather? The answer was no, and the rain plan (diplomas picked up post-ceremony at the Ratner Athletic Center) went into effect. But there was no rain plan for the ceremony itself. Should the event, including remarks by special guest New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, be canceled or trimmed? Another glance at the sky—and at the weatherproofed guests queuing up in the quads for admission—settled the issue. Speeches and citations got the blue pencil, and the slightly shortened show went on. By the time the University Pipe Band, which being Scottish had no trouble playing in the rain, swung into the recessional, the sun was shining, the skies were blue, and it was another perfect day in June.