Three years ago, I had the dream of pursuing my Master’s degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. At that time, I had no idea how I would make this dream come true. All I had was unwavering faith and the willingness to work hard towards my dream. Along with hard work and dedication, things worked out in my favor. I cried in joy when I received my admit which read that only 11 students were selected among hundreds of applicants from all over the world. With courage and faith, I flew halfway across the world to pursue my degree from my dream university.
This post is about my Graduation Day, the day that gave me immense satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment. Graduation day in Stony Brook University is celebrated with an all red theme in which the graduation gowns and caps are also in red. There is an atmosphere of celebration and joy all over the campus. Graduating students bring their families and friends from all over the world to celebrate the joy of graduating.
There are typically two ceremonies that a graduating student attends. First one is the Main Ceremony where all the graduating students assemble in a large stadium. The President of the University addresses the students and awards the honorary degrees to the selected recipients. The second ceremony is the departmental ceremony held by the respective departments where the degrees are handed over to each student on the stage (in my case, it was the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences).
We were given a booklet containing information about the commencement (schedule of events, names of the graduating students etc).
The Main Ceremony was held the the Kenneth P Lavelle Stadium at 11 am. There was a long queue to enter the stadium. We entered the stadium following the procession which was playing the Spirit of Stony Brook and remained seated for the majority of the ceremony.
Honorary doctorates were awarded to Prince Emmanuel De Meriden (anthropologist and conservationist), Michael J. Fox (international film star) and Jonathan Oringer (founder and CEO of Shutterstock).
Following this, President Stanley announced the conferral of our degrees. We sang the Stony Brook Alma Mater song in unison.
As soon as the Main Ceremony was over, we headed to the IFCU Arena for the departmental ceremony. There was a procession followed by which we entered the arena with our respective departments guided by the Grand Marshal.
Biomedical Engineering students were called upon first to receive their degrees. I received my degree from Dr. Clinton Rubin who is the Chair of my department. The video below shows my walking up to the stage to receive the degree.
The video below shows the tossing of the caps towards the end of the ceremony.
After the ceremony, we headed to the nearby lawn where we had a group photo with the department and clicked photos with friends and family.
After the photo session, we all headed home to cut the cake baked by Niv for all of us (I helped too 😛). It was a two tier cake made with white chocolate mousse and chocolate base which took two days to bake !
After the celebrations came the hard part for me where I had to pack up and check out of my Chapin apartment. This apartment was my home for the last two years. I will always cherish the beautiful memories I made here with the best people who are now like family.
The two years I spent for my Master’s at Stony Brook gave me more than just a degree. It was an experience of a lifetime !
Photo & Video Credits- Bharath Venkatesh and Ashish Kulkarni