Never let it be said that Gov. William Donald Schaefer or his cabinet members went without pomp and circumstance. Nope, I heard that the last cabinet meeting, Thursday morning in the Governor's Reception Room at the State House, turned into a commencement ceremony where cabinet members donned caps and gowns to receive their Doctorates of Excellence as they graduated from the Schaefer School of Government.
As usual, the governor's special assistant, Pam Kelly, who has run Schaefer cabinet meetings for 15 years, was emcee for the ceremony. First up was Secretary of the Environment David A. C. Carroll, the class historian, who gave the history of the class of '95; the governor's former press secretary, Bob Douglas, took a few minutes away from his legal duties with the Ellen Sauerbrey case to stop by and read a very funny "Last Will and Testament" left by each class member; and Secretary of Natural Resources Torrey C. Brown, as the dean of the cabinet, spoke for the class.
Former C&P (now Bell Atlantic) president Hank Butta came out of retirement to give the commencement speech. Butta, who has led several governmental panels, was invited to the last cabinet meeting because he led the transition team when Schaefer first took office.
Each grad received a diploma and a Schaefer team letter, a golden S, earned for doing something during the administration.
The ceremony ended with a class song, written by Bill Fogle, secretary of licensing and regulation, and sung to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne."
The words might amuse you:
We've served with honor through the years,
but now the time has come,
To wish each other much success,
for now we must move on.
We've learned that people should be served,
and caring we have vowed,
Our motto will remain the same,
So remember DO IT NOW.
We'll always do it now, my friend,
We'll always do it now,
We thank you for those passing years,
as we take our final bow.
Thinking about "out with the old" reminds me that this coming week belongs to Maryland's new governor, Parris N. Glendening, and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Lots of activities are planned, to begin Tuesday night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
David Nevins and Peggy Zink are co-chairs for an inaugural eve gala reception on the club level of the stadium from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets for this party with the new team are $75 and may be reserved by calling (410) 356-8823. Nevins tells me that he and Ms. Zink have put together quite a showcase of Maryland performers to entertain the more than 1,000 people who are attending.
The following day, the Glendening team will be inaugurated in ceremonies in Annapolis, and that evening they will attend a black-tie inaugural dinner at the Prince George's County Equestrian Center at 7 p.m. Those tickets are $125, and you may call the same number to see if any are still available. See you there!
Have you seen the latest edition of Washingtonian mag? Baltimore County's new Republican Congressman Bob Ehrlich was named one of the New Hunks in Congress, along with two other new Republicans who are both from Oklahoma -- Steve Largent and and J. S. Watts Jr.
Besides sharing the same political philosophy and good looks, this threesome also shares a love of football -- Ehrlich's a former captain of Princeton's football team; Largent, who looks like Joe Montana, played for the Seattle Seahawks; and Watts was a quarterback for the University of Oklahoma.