Saturday, August 20, 2011

College - Beginnings and Endings

I dropped my son off at college yesterday for the start of freshman orientation. I am sure I am experiencing the same mix of emotions that most parents feel when their children move from home to begin college. I am very excited for my son and very proud of him. He is ready for this adventure and most of the time I think I am dealing well with his leaving. But I will miss him!

This new college experience for my son got me thinking about my ancestors and their college experiences.  I don't have a lot to go on. I only know of three ancestors who graduated from college or university - my parents and my paternal grandfather, and the only one I have any records for at all is my father. I was told my grandfather, Ralph Westcott Grant, graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with an engineering degree. My mom, Dorothy Minna Veith, graduated from Stephens College with an Associate Degree. My dad, Warren Westcott Grant, graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science degree.

I wrote about my father's interrupted college experience here. Growing up, I never knew that my father had left college before he finished. I am not entirely sure why he left in his sophomore year, but when I asked my dad about it once, his reply was along the lines of  "Of course I didn't tell you kids that I left and had to return later to finish up. I didn't want to put the idea into your heads". My impression was that Dad was asked to leave because he wasn't concentrating on his schoolwork enough. But he did go back after World War II and finish his degree and that is an achievement. Although he started in engineering, his degree was in business administration.

Here are a few pages from my dad's Rutgers University commencement program for the class of 1949.

Rutgers University
183rd Anniversary Commencement
12 June 1949

Warren Westcott Grant
2nd column, half way down

Rutgers University graduation 12 June 1949
 unknown newspaper
In four years, I hope I will be attending my son's graduation from college. Time will tell!

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