Today Is ...

The first time I tried to write this post, I started off with "Today is graduation day for Francis Marion University's Class of 2015." There is nothing wrong with that statement; it is entirely true. But it wasn't quite right.

Do you know what the word graduation means?

Google "graduation definition" and this is what you will find:
the receiving or conferring of an academic degree or diploma
Graduation is about the award you get for finishing the academic work you started. It's about an ending.

My university, like many others, does not call today's celebration a graduation ceremony.

No, today is commencement day for Francis Marion University's Class of 2015.

Do you know what commencement means?
a beginning or a start
Today is not the end; it is the beginning.

Today is the start of a new adventure. Today is the start of the rest of our lives. Today is a brand new chapter with blank pages just waiting to be written on.

When I looked up the definitions of both of those words online, I also found something very interesting. Timelines for word use. Commencement was a word that was used a lot during the mid 19th century . Graduation on the other hand was barely used at all. Today, commencement is rarely used, but graduation is used frequently. We have come to look at today as an ending. Graduation is seen as the finish line.

I understand. Today is the end of a season for those of us who will walk across that stage. But today, I propose that we do not focus on the ending, but rather the beginning.

Today is commencement. So let's get started.

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