While graduates work hard to get there, graduation is for families

Graduations, like weddings and funerals, are usually for the family.

That is what I told my wife, new college graduate Jennifer Hollister, at Tuesday's Western Nevada Community College graduation.

The Carson City Community Center was packed with relatives and well-wishers there to watch the graduates walk across and get their diplomas.

I felt the usual chill as the Sierra Highland Pipers led the processional down the aisle followed by the professors in their regalia.

I took the usual blurry photos as Jenn walked by in her bright blue cap and gown and took the podium to wait for the main event.

Looking up at the stage, I was a little surprised to see Douglas High School's Mr. Z, Bill Zabelsky, conducting the choir.

Jennifer wasn't the only graduate I had an interest in at Tuesday's ceremony.

While I try to keep my newspaper and educational lives separate, I will make an exception this once.

I teach graphic communications at the college and four of my students received their degrees on Tuesday.

Kelly Lynn, Jessica Johnston, Justin Ryba and Karla Matthews all took one or both of my classes.

Lisa Foster, who used to be the spokeswoman for AAA in Nevada, spoke on behalf of the governor.

She pointed out there were 38 Millennium Scholars among the graduates.

Afterwards, I congratulated college president Carole Lucey on getting the ceremony done in a few minutes longer than an hour.

Helaine Jesse, the college's vice president of institutional advancement, spoke to Jenn and me for a little bit.

"I bet I know what is going in your column on Sunday," she said.

• • •

While waiting for Jenn's parents, I spoke with Judith Harris, whose son, Evan, just received his associate of arts degree.

Judith is a volunteer in Dayton and former teacher, who was very proud of her son.

Evan plans to go on to the University of Nevada, Reno.

• • •

Gardnerville resident Dave Campbell called to say he made it all the way through the MS Walk in Carson City on Saturday.

"I walked a quarter of the way and then got my wheelchair out and went the rest of the way with my daughter on my lap," he said.

Dave was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two years ago. He said it began as a tingling in his arm and went into his legs.

• • •

I heard from my near namesake and former co-Carson Access Television board member Debbie Hilderbrand last week.

Debbie is doing the publicity for the television show "Applause!" which appears on channels 19 and 26 here in Douglas County.

Alice Sady of the Carson Valley Young Chautauquans will perform on the program 7 p.m. Wednesdays along with five other young people from Reno and Carson City.

"Applause!" is part of Kids 'n Focus News funded in part by the Nevada Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and Wells Fargo Bank.

Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at khildebrand@recordcourier.com or 782-5121 ext. 215.


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