As the culmination for an entire year’s efforts by students, teachers, priesthood leaders and us, our seminary graduation took place on Saturday. We had been getting ready for weeks. The event is similar to a small high school graduation—in our case, about 150 students were receiving a little over 200 different recognitions including diplomas, certificates of achievement and course completion certificates. Preparing the certificates and inserted diplomas into covers is definitely the easy part. What takes time is making sure that each student’s record for this year AND for all of his/her prior years is accurately reflected in the recognition. Thankfully, the WISE program does most of this for us, but since we found a few errors in what it generated, we had to check each student to make sure that they weren’t given a recognition they didn’t deserve, but especially so that they didn’t come to the ceremony expecting a diploma or certificate and be disappointed. Kids really feel bad if they come all dressed up expecting to receive recognition and their name isn't called. We also had to generate a number of recognitions that were the result of last minute makeup work—WISE doesn’t consider those. All of the time spent paid off. We had only one single girl who wanted to have her certificate reprinted, but that was only because she has changed her name and the name she is going by isn’t what is in the church records.
The ceremony was only part of the day. Last June at our Seminary Super Saturday, the stake presidency promised the students who finished successfully a breakfast cooked by the presidency. Since the presidency made the decision to have the breakfast and the graduation for both seminary and institute on the same day, the invitation was extended to the institute students as well, and then of course to all of the families who would be attending with them. The stake presidency and their helpers, including high council representatives, bishops and some of the young men were very busy flipping pancakes, scrambling eggs and cooking bacon. I’m sure we fed over two hundred people, and miraculously, the pancakes multiplied so that everyone was able to enjoy breakfast.
During the ceremony, when the stake president shared his remarks, he set a goal for 100% completion this year by all students. We didn’t end up too badly for this year—about 70% for both seminary and institute, and while 100% is a lofty goal, we’ll be glad that the students, leaders and parents will be given that expectation. In all the graduation, was a wonderful success, bringing closure to a wonderful year.
President deKock flipping pancakes
Our high counsel representative on the bacon
Seminary students cracking eggs and there were a LOT of eggs!
All the guys are busy--I brought an apron to help, but the guys had it handled.
A creative way to cook a lot of eggs--it worked very well.
Takes concentration to make this many pancakes.
Some of the institute students eating breakfast.
Seminary students from one of the wards sung accompanied by cello and violin.
The chapel was full
Lots of happy kids got certificates and/or diplomas