Guess who graduated from college?
Graduation Day started with a reception at the White House where President Weedman and his wife greeted all the graduates and their families.
The grounds of the White House included lots of flowers and lush greenery.
I was totally enamored of this flower so my husband took a photo of it for me. I wish I knew what it was but who am I kidding .... I will never have a garden like this. I have a brown thumb when it comes to gardening and have to rely on others to provide me with outdoor beauty.
Dale was also sneaky and caught a shot of me, something that usually isn't allowed.
I'm searching through my purse for the beloved chapstick, none the wiser that I'm being shot.
As the name suggests, the White House is the official residence for the President of Johnson. Part of the house (shown here) is the original house where the founders (Ashley and Emma Johnson) lived. This section of the house was built in 1890 and is used for social events and to house visitors. This part of the house was extensively renovated after the addition was added. (construction and renovation occurred from 2008-2010) The addition houses the school's President and his wife.
When Ian served as a Presidential Ambassador one of his duties was to serve at these social functions and give tours of the White House ... so, we had our own personal tour guide!
Here is a view from the house's backyard. It overlooks the French Broad River. Imagine how nice it would be to wake up to that view every morning. According to Ian way back in the day students would arrive at school via barges on the river.
I think Ian has had enough socializing for now and is ready to get on with the big event.
Graduation is held in one of the local mega churches. We thought we had gotten there early enough to get a fairly decent seat. As you can tell from this photo, we're pretty far back.
This date marks the 119th graduation. The class of 2012 was the first to graduate under the name of Johnson University. Ian started out at Johnson Bible College but graduated from Johnson University.
We found our graduate's name in the program. We're so proud of our boy who graduated with honors (Magna Cum Laude). He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Counseling and Biblical Studies.
I forgot to take my camera so all my photos are taken with my phone. The zoom feature isn't so great on the phone. Ian is somewhere in that mass of black.
These shots are pretty blurry too. There were a total of 180 graduates - 45 Masters, 130 Bachelors, and 5 Associates. Two interesting notes: twelve of the masters graduates are from China and received their degrees abroad, and one of the undergrad students earned her degree at the age of 71!
180 graduates is a small drop in the bucket for a lot of schools. Heck around here most of the high schools have five times that many in a class. But, it was just the right place for our son. It is very evident this a close-knit family of students and faculty.
For the first time this year JU broadcast the graduation ceremony online. Aunt Pat, who had a big hand in making this experience possible, was able to watch from her home in Jasper, Georgia. She captured a screen shot of him as he received his diploma. Thank goodness because Momma and her cellphone failed. Yay for technology!
After graduation Ian showed off his diploma.
Isn't he handsome and doesn't he look relieved?
Here's a shot of Ian with one of his good friends Tyler Paulson. I think Tyler's family have adopted Ian. We're very thankful for all the times they've welcomed him into their home and are especially thankful they took care of him one weekend last fall that was probably one of the lowest points of his life.
There was mass confusion in the lobby of the church after the ceremony as all the grads, their family and friends milled around visiting and taking photos. I watched one family in particular where the girl's father took a photo of her with anyone and everyone - seriously, every person that walked by got their photo taken. Here she is with my boys.
and here we are, one big happy family.
After dinner we went out to eat and wind down from all the hoopla. Father and son -
they look so much alike.
Here I am with my baby. I'm trying to ignore having my photo taken while Andrew is looking pretty serious. We enjoyed a nice dinner before sending the boys on their way while we retired to the hotel. They were going out to celebrate further, we were off to bed. We're definitely turning into old folks!
One more thing to share ...
A day before graduation this advertisement showed up on my Facebook. The irony of it all! I had to snip it and send it to Ian with the following comment: Wow! You could have saved yourself three years and lots of $$
But, I think the sheepskin from Johnson means a whole lot more.
We're so proud of our boy and can't wait to see what the next chapter in his life brings. Grad school/seminary, a career, a wife and kids .... we rest in the confidence that God has a plan for him. Meanwhile, for the short term, our boy is home and once again our nest is full.