CommencementAmong days, graduation ranks below birth...

NOTES AND COMMENTS

May 23, 1998

Commencement

Among days, graduation ranks below birth, above death, somewhere alongside marriage (occasionally, they coincide; also, the former can last longer).

The thought here is mainly of college; graduation goes on lower down, too, but mostly next month.

Therefore, by the authority vested in us by the general experience, you graduates are hereby welcomed into the company of scholars, celebrants, photo targets and gift unwrappers.

Surely, the program spells your name right. If Gramps puzzles over its language (B.S. in computer engineering? B.S. in computer science?), some faculty members wonder, too.

As one example, the academic grove at Charles and 34th confers 16 types of bachelor's degrees, 17 master's, and six doctorates, but the Ph.D. alone fractionates into half a dozen subtitles.

Graduates, every drop of that sweat was worth it -- as it has been for 700 years' worth of the artium baccalaureus. May your euphoria continue long after you forget that old yellow denotes science; apricot, nursing; dark blue, philosophy; and tan, business.

Do not forget old alma mater.

Meanwhile, world, make way for '98.

Public music

PUBLIC SUMMER concerts have been a Baltimore tradition since at least 1860, when the city charter contained the following obligation: "Music shall be provided for the citizens of Baltimore by the city."

Over the years, budget crunches have killed free municipal outdoor concerts in most other cities, but the Baltimore tradition lives on.

Much to the delight of hundreds of devotees, another series of music events featuring popular tunes and big-band sounds is scheduled this summer, beginning July 1.

Life changes at such a frantic pace these days; it is reassuring to remember that some traditions live on.

Pub Date: 5/23/98

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