If you’ve never been to a CCNY graduation, you should come.
All graduations are joyous events; all graduations affect transitions between years of preparation and a world rife with new possibilities. And, I’ll admit that it’s been years since I’ve attended a graduation that did not take place on a CUNY campus—but I still think our graduations are different.
I think they’re different because they’re filled with young people rewriting their entire family history. When you wander around after a Colin Powell School graduation ceremony, you’re surrounded by parents who’ve sent sons and daughters into a world they didn’t understand and couldn’t explain to their children. For many it may feel like a huge gamble: will their children grow unfamiliar to them, alienated from home and culture? Will the embrace of an education build walls, or create ladders? Will a child’s opportunity be a family’s loss? Despite the risks and doubts, or perhaps because of them, students and families arrive at graduation day as to a new continent they never thought they’d reach. The air is spiced with their joy.