It’s not everyday we have a son who graduates from Oxford! He is now a fully fledged graduate with BA (Oxon) after his name.
Despite the rain that absolutely poured down at regular intervals during the day, the ceremonies started with a drinks reception at Somerville College. We then moved into Hall for lunch, which was delicious and had a good chat with Chris’s linguistics tutor who joined us to eat.
We then made our way to the Sheldonian – a curious old building designed specifically for ceremonies. We were packed in like sardines and in the most uncomfortable seats in the world, sat patiently waiting for 2.30pm.
It had been explained to us that the whole thing was steeped in tradition over the last 800 years and was therefore conducted in Latin.
Us poor mortals who didn’t have the benefits of a classical education hadn’t got a clue what was going on but eventually it was the turn of the BA graduates to be called up by college. The Dean of Somerville grasped Chris’s hand and stood shaking it whilst he went through his latin speech. They then filed out to be given their graduate gowns and then came back in to be congratulated by the officials and clapped to exhaustion by us proud parents.
What a day. We managed to find some dry weather to get some photos of our clever lad in all his official finery.
Now that Oxford has done all it can for Chris, what hope is there for the 2009 graduates? The recession is still holding recruitment to minimal levels. By the time things pick up there will be a new batch of graduates coming through next year. The 2009 graduates are in danger of becoming the forgotten year. Such a shame as Chris and his peers are a group of seriously talented young minds and I can’t bear the thought that they are going to be let down by the government.
Chris is luckier than most because he can walk into a job with me and I am proud to have him. But I do not want to limit his potential or stifle his development as accountancy has never been a strong pull for him – despite having (like me) a natural flair for figures and business.
I have been encouraging him to develop his own website http://chrisstewart.biz to showcase his language talents. Have a look and see if you can use some of his skill in your business interests on the continent. We have some ideas on developing some work in France for him as he loves French and has a real aptitude with it. Time will tell how we get on with that one!
I will finish now with a call to employers not to overlook this years graduates from all the universities. The last thing we want as a country is to let these fine young minds not achieve every scrap of potential they are capable of. If you have the chance – employ one and pass on the skills we have all learned in business to the next generation.
I wish them all good luck and every success for the future.