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Fifth & Final


Bright College years, with pleasure rife,
The shortest, gladdest years of life;
How swiftly are ye gliding by!
Oh, why doth time so quickly fly?

The seasons come, the seasons go,
The earth is green or white with snow,
But time and change shall naught avail
To break the friendships formed at Yale.

In after years, should troubles rise
To cloud the blue of sunny skies,
How bright will seem, through mem'ry's haze
Those happy, golden, bygone days!

Oh, let us strive that ever we
May let these words our watch-cry be,
Where'er upon life's sea we sail:
"For God, for Country and for Yale!"

"Bright College Years"

(Written by H.S. Durand, 1881 and Composed by Carl Wilhelm)

Ten years ago, I graduated from Yale. I remember the day. The weekend. The profound perfume of pride and sadness wafting through the New Haven air. I remember wanting so badly to stay, to pause time, to soak up the sentiment I feared I wasn't appreciating in full measure. But I also wanted it to be over. To move on. To enter that fabled real world that beckoned.

Today, it's my youngest Sister T's turn. She will don that standard issue polyester. In that cap and gown, she will walk. She will receive that heralded document, that diploma. She will shake a dean's hand and smile big for photographs. At lunch, we will toast her insane 3.99 GPA which she managed to achieve - and maintain - while watching Dad get sick and say goodbye. We will also raise a glass to more intangible things. To bright and bygone college years. To heaps of happiness. To a good life beyond Ivy.

And so. On this day, I'm a proud Yalie and a proud big sister. Overwhelmed, exquisitely overwhelmed, by love and legacy and loss. At once aware of the monument that is this (fifth and final) moment and oblivious to its ultimate and unwieldy weight. For T. For me. For my family.

This post is for God, for Country, and for Yale.

But mostly?

It's for T.

Congrats, baby sis. We are all so so proud.

And so is he.


  • Please congratulate my littlest sis on her big day! Any words of wisdom to pass along?
  • Do you remember your own graduation day? How did you feel? Were you ready to move on?
  • I still owe T a graduation gift. Any stellar ideas?

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