Yep, we've got a college graduate in the house and we could not be more proud of her! Alyssa graduated a little over a week ago, and it's taken me this long to finally sort through all of the photos, edit them, and get a handful selected to share. We had photos on numerous cell phones, as well as two DSLR's, and it was very overwhelming getting them all organized.
Alyssa graduated from the University of the Pacific, a private university about 20 minutes away from us. She actually finished a semester early, so she's been done since last December. But she came back to walk with her class (she had the option to walk last May, with the 2017 class). She graduated magna cum laude from the Conservatory of Music, with a BA in Music Management and a minor in Business Management.
I have to say, Alyssa took full advantage of her college experience and made the most of her 3.5 years there. She was highly involved in so many different clubs and organizations, joined a music fraternity and a sorority, held on-campus jobs her entire 3.5 years, and still managed to successfully carry a PACKED schedule of classes. Being in the Conservatory is hard. Really hard. There were semesters where she had 10 different classes, and even though a few might have been 1 unit each, she would tell us how they were still treated like regular classes as far as the workload.
She took clarinet lessons most semesters and was a part of the wind ensemble, with concerts several times a year. She went to recitals and concerts for her fellow Conservatory musicians. She was a key part of the Arts & Entertainment team, helping put on all of the events on campus. I'm sure there's a ton more that she did that I'm missing. Basically, she took on all that she could take on, and she was pretty darn successful at all of it.
The college had their main commencement ceremony in the morning, where all of the students graduating from UOP were in attendance. Following the morning ceremony, the individual schools had their own diploma and hooding ceremonies. The colorful banners in the photo above are for the individual schools within the university. Alyssa was in the Conservatory of Music, which is the pink banner (the 3rd from the left).
My obligatory program photo. At just about every concert, play, ceremony, etc that I've attended during the girl's school years, I have always taken a quick program photo, with the stage in the background. It's just something I do.
It's hard to see, but this photo was taken as all of the students graduating from the Conservatory stood to be officially presented to the president of the university as having completed their requirements for graduating. They were way up in one of the front rows, and a fairly small group.
I have lots of family photos that I want to share, and also just want to have documented here on my blog. I couldn't narrow them down any more then I did ;) I'll just add a quick caption here and there as needed.
Our beautiful graduate. Photo taken right after the morning ceremony.
Alyssa, Joe, and myself. A very proud mom and step-dad (who has been a part of her life since she was a year old).
Alyssa and her proud dad. I think it's safe to say that we are both so proud of her and all that she's accomplished.
Alyssa and her dads. I am very fortunate that her dad and I have a great relationship, and that Joe and Ken have a great relationship as well.
Alyssa and her grandpa on her dad's side. I only wish her grandma could have been here to see Alyssa graduate. She left us all too soon, but I know she's with her in spirit.
Alyssa, her dad, and her grandpa. And Alyssa and my parents. Aka, Grammy and Papa. And dad - I'm sorry I had to use the photo where you were looking elsewhere, but the other one was blurry. Lol.
The second photo was taken later in the day, but I have to share a photo of her decorated cap. She had an idea of what she wanted, and loved this quote. I found it in the Silhouette store, and die cut it from gold sticker-type paper (can't remember what exactly it's called). The corner pieces were made using some adhesive backed foam and gold leaf flakes.
A program shot for the afternoon ceremony, which was the Conservatory of Music's diploma and hooding ceremony.
We split up as far as where we sat for this ceremony. I sat downstairs, along with my parents and my brother and sister-in-law. Alyssa's dad, his dad, Joe, and Sarah and her boyfriend sat up in the balcony (this was held in the concert hall where all of her concerts have been held). The shot on the right was one taken from the balcony, looking down at all of the graduates in the Conservatory. I was sitting directly to the right of the second row of students.
I never have the best luck taking photos in the concert hall, but between Alyssa's grandpa and myself, we did at least capture the moment. She was the first one called up, and while they read off her degree and future plans, she was officially hooded and handed her diploma (well, the official diploma comes in the mail within a few months).
The graduate, on the steps of the concert hall. The concert hall where she's spent a ton of time over her three and a half years at UOP. And that photo on the right? It's a new favorite of mine, and I have Alyssa's grandpa to thank for capturing it!
Alyssa and Anthony, her boyfriend of almost three years. He was in a different school, within the college, so his diploma and hooding ceremony was earlier in the day. They were able to meet up for a bit after her afternoon ceremony, and I'm so glad we have some photos of them together from their big day. And check out his decorated cap. He was in graphic design, and a bunch of the graduates got together and each of them took a Pantone color to represent on their caps. I love it.
Who knows what's going on in this photo, but they were all pretty much like this. Alyssa's dad took all of his photos on "live" mode on his iPhone, and it's pretty funny to go thru them. The live mode capture them almost more like a very short video, and then gives you a "photo" - but you can also view it and pick a different segment to be the actual "photo". Hopefully that makes sense for anyone that doesn't know about the live mode.
I viewed some of them in live mode, but honestly just didn't want to take the time to go thru them all looking for a better photo for each photo. I had hundreds and hundreds of photos to work with, so I just picked the best ones I could find from whatever was captured.
We also had DSLR photos, and although I really wish we had moved to a better spot for photos, I was able to work some editing magic on the ones we did get.
My brother and his wife came for Alyssa's second ceremony in the afternoon. We were limited on tickets for the morning ceremony, but loved having them for the second one.
Sarah and Dom, her boyfriend, also came for the second ceremony. The morning one was too early for them.
It was such a great day. A long day, but a great day. After the second ceremony, and all of our picture taking, we all headed back to my brother's house, where we had food and desserts ready to go. A few other family members came to visit, and it was just nice to have both sides of the family together for her big day.
And if all goes as planned, this will be Sarah in a few years ;)