With joyous and tearful pride on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, our oldest boy Bryan
22 year old Bryan received a Bachelors Of Science degree from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois on May 17th - majoring in Emergency Management. Our entire family attended the 4 PM commencement ceremony held in WIU's massive Western Hall.
Tears flowed all weekend as we drove up late on Friday evening to meet Bryan at his apartment. We had a late dinner at 10:00pm at the world famous Rocky's Diner, right in Macomb. Following, Kathy booted Bryan out of his bed, and the boys scrambled to sleep on couches and chairs in the apartment.
Outsmarting all of them, I slept in the luxurious cargo space of our Chrysler Minivan out in Bryan's parking lot. I had stowed the 2nd and 3rd row of seats - giving me a spacious, though rather hard sleeping surface.
On Saturday, Bryan awoke and under intense pressure from his mother, shaved off his scraggly beard to appear presentable for the day's events. At 3 PM, Bryan and I walked over to the Hall where Bryan was to form up before the ceremony. We were given a copy of the Grauation Program, and as I leafed through it and saw Bryan's name, I started crying as Bryan put his arm around me. I was, and am, so proud of him.
Kathy and the younger 3 boys met up with us later, and with Kathy wailing through most of the ceremony, witnessed our son get his degree. Immediately below are all the pictures of this great day with a short video of the key Graduation moments below that. Picture above to the right is Bryan posing with his diploma after the ceremony. All the way down is a collage of Great Moments in Bryan's Academic History that has Kathy and I wondering how this could have sped by so fast.
Video Of Bryan Receiving His Degree
A final note....
Bryan is our 1st son and one of the things that we had always talked to him about as he grew up was that the way he conducts his life would be the example that he would set for his 3 younger brothers.
When Bryan went away to school, he struggled academically his first year. I thought it was because he was more interested in touring around the Midwest visiting other friends in college than he was in studying. Bryan and I had a couple serious chats about whether he would succeed. And as I dropped Bryan off for the beginning of his 2nd year, he turned to me and said 'Don't Worry, Dad - I'll do good".
And with that he never looked back and committed himself to do well in school and did exactly that. He graduated in 4 years and attained a high GPA in his major.
What an example you have set for your brothers. Your Mom and I are so proud of you and love you so much.