This weekend I head to Traverse City, Michigan, for the wedding of my son, Matthew. It will be a grand occasion that will bring the entire family together in celebration of this event. Those who know me understand how close I am to my family, so this is a big thing for me. (Is it okay for fathers to cry at weddings?)
Matt is a 2006 college graduate, and his story on the surface is not unlike that of any other college graduate who is searching for his or her place in life and in a career. He met his bride to be in college and they have chosen Denver as their place to live and seek their fortunes. He faces the same challenges in finding that perfect position that pulls together his passion and skill sets, and he shares the same frustrations as other college graduates who are waiting for that right job to come along.
There is one significant difference between Matt and his journey and the rest of the college graduates out there: he is my son and he is one of a kind. Thus, I believe he deserves every opportunity to succeed, in part, because of his unique experiences and passion for his chosen field.
Why am I sharing this story beyond the fact that I am a proud and loving father to Matt? It is because I feel the same way about each Methodist student, who is also one of a kind. In fact, each Methodist University student’s journey is “nurtured and hand crafted” and far from an “assembly line” product that often comes with larger universities. Methodist University graduates are different; they have benefited from the MU Journey and related experiences that have prepared them to be successful in their careers and to lead lives of meaning and purpose.
Methodist University is taking its commitment to its students to the next level. Not only are we offering experiential learning to our students; we are on a course of ensuring that each student will have an opportunity to be involved in leadership, study abroad, undergraduate research, and community engagement. Furthermore, we are committed to every student having the opportunity to participate in an internship experience.
This coming Saturday is indeed a special day in Matt’s journey and hopefully just one of many he will experience over a lifetime. Likewise, our MU students will have special days associated with their Methodist hand-crafted experiences and others during their lifetime due to the foundation established at Methodist.
I guess this also entitles me to cry at commencement as I shake the hand of each graduating student and celebrate his or her accomplishments. I will be glowing with pride then as I will be on Saturday as Matt walks down the aisle.