Commencement 2016

We’re halfway through commencement here at CSB|SJU.  College of Saint Benedict held their ceremonies today at Clemens Fieldhouse and tomorrow Saint John’s University celebrates at the Abbey Church.

At this time of year, I always think of my own commencement in 1983.  (I double checked and I’m on p. 58.  It wasn’t a dream…) I still remember economics classes with my fellow B.S. graduates: Paul Brehm, Brad Peterson, Nikki Sorum, and Todd TsuchiyaMyron Orfield and Tim Pawlenty (both on p. 52) were also class of 1983, both in political science.  I knew Myron a bit from college DFL stuff but never met the future governor.

One of the nicest things about commencement was that my grandfather, Dorrance Johnston, attended. He earned a degree in electrical engineering at the U in 1931; my father followed with a degree in chemistry in 1955, my mom an MBA in 1980, my brothers and sister with degrees in the 1980s (mechanical engineering, English/Spanish, and biology, respectively.)   My wife earned her political science degree in 1985, and now our daughter is finishing her junior year at the U.  Four generations.

Mulford Q. Sibley gave the commencement address, and that too made the ceremony special.  Sibley was a controversial figure at the U in the 1950s and 1960s, so it was an honor to have him address our class.  I will always remember Northrop Auditorium packed to the rafters with students and families.

Congratulations to the Class of 2016!