GradZone: (n) (grad' zon)
1. A monthly newsletter sent September–May to graduating CC and SEAS undergraduate students to help them complete the tasks necessary to graduate and stay in the know about Class Day and University Commencement. Families of these graduates will also receive monthly graduation-related emails beginning in the spring.
2. A website with the most current graduation information for graduating CC and SEAS undergraduates and their families.
- May 29: Young Alumni Party
On Friday, May 29, from 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., celebrate with classmates from Columbia College, Barnard, General Studies, and SEAS at Stage 48 in Hell's Kitchen. The event will feature two DJs all night on two different floors and a full open bar with food! This party is one of the most popular annual alumni events, so don't delay in purchasing your ticket.
- Baccalaureate Family Tribute
Congratulations! Commencement Week is finally here and there's a lot of celebrating to do. Be sure to take a moment to thank your family and friends who helped you reach this milestone. Below is a family tribute by Lucas James Pinheiro Oliver SEAS '15, which he delivered at the Baccalaureate Service on Sunday, May 17.
"Like many of us, when I was little I thought my parents were perfection incarnated; they could fix anything, they knew everything, and they always knew how to make my day brighter. Of course, we all eventually come to the realization that our parents are not perfect. (Sorry Mom and Dad.) For me, this moment of realization came when my Dad was finally given permission to dress himself on Christmas Eve for a formal dinner and decided to break out his florescent red pants, or when my Mom paid for a coffee at Dunkin' Donuts and then proceeded to drive home without actually picking up the coffee -- this was not an isolated incident. They're close to perfect, but haven't quite gotten there.
Now that I am (supposedly) more mature, I have come to realize that this is a key ingredient to love – knowing each other's quirks, virtues, flaws, achievements, and failures – and why families keep us grounded. By surrendering ourselves, our innermost thoughts, and our imperfections, we may open ourselves to harm, but it is the only way to open our hearts to love.
Our families are the people who know us perhaps better than we know ourselves. They know who we are and they accept us despite our imperfections. Actually, in a way I think they love us because of our imperfections. The ultimate trust is to show someone your soul – your best, your worst, your emotions, your thoughts – and know that you will not be judged. Even if once in a while they hurt us, we know that whether or not they say it, they care and want the best for us.
I think that missing someone is just a sign that you have opened your heart to that person. Just over a year ago I lost my grandfather. Needless to say, the loss left an incredible pain, but the greatest testament to what he taught me about opening myself to love despite any pain it might cause was the healing comfort of attending my cousin's wedding just two days later.
Many of us have been blessed with a family at birth, and many of us have created our own, but in essence they are the same, and they are the ones we are honoring today. They are the ones who sometimes know what you are feeling without a word being spoken. They are the ones who send care packages during midterm season just because they are thinking of you, and the ones who throw you a surprise birthday party just because they remember. Most importantly, they are the ones who are as available when you are laughing as when you are crying.
So in this week of celebration, on behalf of all graduates, I would like to thank the people that made this possible – parents, caretakers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and our close friends – our families of origin and our families of choice. In our hardest times, you have been there to pick up the phone or wait for our return home with open arms. You have given us a comfort in being unconditionally accepted that no words can fully capture and no intellectual analysis can fully understand. You have been there to help carry our burdens and share our excitements. Thank you, and congratulations."