Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Graduation Stories

Posted May 10, 2011

What's the funniest or most unusual thing you have seen at a high school or college graduation? Please weigh in with your comments.

My son William graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone last weekend and the commencement program was quite interesting. Will received his diploma from ASU Chancellor Kenneth Peacock. The highly popular and gregarious chancellor has a knack for connecting with students. He helps lead the cheers at football games. Dr. Peacock can always be seen helping new students move in to their dormitories with kind words and his unique sense of humor.

At Saturday's commencement service at least two of the new graduates felt so comfortable around Dr. Peacock that they gave him a bear hug and lifted him off the ground in a show of celebration and affection. There was even one chest bump during the service. While some around me scoffed at "a lack of decorum" I enjoyed the youthful display of jubilation. My son settled on a traditional handshake from Dr. Peacock but that's just his personality. By the way, I am proud to announce that Will graduated in four years with a communications degree and a minor in history. He's headed to a movie production job in Charlotte. I'm headed to the bank to celebrate.



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  • racinjunki May 12, 2011

    Had a very tense graduation at Pfeiffer University on Saturday. Right in the middle of the President's address, a student's grandfather died. No pluse, no respiration, white as a sheet. A doctor and two or three nurses were at his side in less than a minute. The Dr started chest compressions and in about a minute the gentleman regained consciousness. EMS arrived and after 15 or 20 minutes the gentleman walked down the bleachers, assisted, and got on the gurney. He got quiet the standing ovation as they rolled him out.

  • mcarrgary May 11, 2011

    Congrats to Will! It looks like the "cul-de-sac crew" has made a dream come true to enter the movie business together!

  • bleslie May 11, 2011

    Congrats to all of you with graduates this year! Thanks for the radio memories Wake Tar Heel! It reminds me - I need to give my old radio buddy Bob Inskeep a call for our monthly breakfast.

  • socrjazzy May 11, 2011

    The college I attended has a tradition of each graduate giving something to the college president when we shake hands and receive our diplomas. The year I graduated it was decided that we would each hand him a fortune cookie. It is a small school, around 1200 students so he only ended up with about 300 or so of them.

  • Killian May 10, 2011

    I'm jealous! As of this August, I will have all three of mine in college at the same time. My bank account is sobbing at the thought!

    I joke, but I'm really proud of mine. My youngest graduates from Eastern Alamance High School on 6/11, just a week after he turns 16. All 3 started at 16, and their dad and I couldn't be more proud of them.

    Kudos to your son!

  • Wake Tar Heel May 10, 2011

    I was there Saturday and saw your son and mine graduate. Best graduation ceremony ever! Though not one of the graduates you mentioned, our son was probably the most joyful one on stage. When I was in college at UNC, I listened to you every morning on WRAL-FM as I got ready for class. You and the DTH were my daily news source. I had a full-circle sort of moment when I heard your son's name called.

  • UNCfuturealumi May 10, 2011

    I love these story about Will..I hope he does well and really I love to think that NC is becoming the next big film capital..Wilmington is a good fit as well. I wish him well..He has some big shoes to fill to check in with Dad....

  • 2thebeach May 10, 2011

    My oldest daughter received her MBA from ECU Friday night She held a full time job and still completed her degree in 2 years! Her younger sister graduated last year from ECU is just about to finish up her first year of teaching. The good thing is, both of them completed their undergraduate degrees in the apprpriate 4 year and I'm proud of them both.

  • grammajm May 10, 2011

    At our youngest son's high school graduation the graduates were seated on folding chairs on risers. A fellow on the top row leaned back and his chair fell off with him and he disappeared behind the riser of students. Everyone seemed to freeze, but my son jumped up from his seat and ran behind the set of risers only to find the fellow that fell getting up with a big sheepish grin, to the applause of the audience. The announcer was so flustered, that she forgot to announce my son's name when it was his turn to get his diploma. When she realized her mistake, she announced him, but called him "David" instead of his name "Daniel". At the same son's college graduation, he was ill with an oncoming flu. We raced to the coliseum only to find he had forgotten his cap and gown. His dad rushed back home, 20 miles, to get the cap and gown. At the same time, our son sought out another cap and gown from the personnel on site passing them out. He scored another cap and gown on site in time.

  • LMRA May 10, 2011

    My college graduation was a complete mess. I attended college in a small city in upstate NY. Most of my family came from up for the graduation from Long Island. My cousin was 3 months old and my grandparents were in their early 70's and everyone else was somewhere in between. They stayed at a hotel. Nothing at the hotel was right. No one could agree on a place to have dinner the night before. It poured rain the day of the graduation (luckily it had already been planned at an inside venue). We ended up at McDonald's for breakfast (my Mother wasn't happy) and she spilled coffee all over her outfit and yelled at me all the way to the ceremony. After the ceremony, as my Father was loading the car, he yelled at me because I had accumulated so much 'stuff' over 4 yrs (including a really heavy penny collection). The best thing about it was my name always comes first alphabetically and a lot of champaigne corks popped as my name was announced. You should see the pictures!!!




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Bill Leslie