As graduates all over the country walk across the stage to receive their diplomas this month, many are adorned with ropes, medals and accolades.
Their names are read along with one of the three levels of the latin term cum laude which means “with praise”. Cum Laude, pronounced (Koo m lou-dey) is the lowest of the three special honors for grades above excellence. Magna cum laude is next and the highest in academic achievement is Summa cum laude.
But what about the student who spent hours listening to a hurting friend who has given up on life, or the art major who has painted a masterpiece that has taken countless hours to complete. Or the student who worked a 30-40 hour work week to support himself all through school. Where are their adornments?
I really wish we could read bios for each graduate and hear everyone’s story of triumph, struggles and achievements. Some of us are not academic scholars, some of us are creatives. Some write, sing, play an instrument and some are good best friends. They spend time lending a listening ear to the college student who is homesick or runs to the store to help a sick college student when he/she is sick. Those are smarts of a different kind. Call it streets smarts, high EQ or just normal, these students deserve to be recognized.
I applaud those of you who have kept their grades up enough to graduate all while sharing their gifts with others and having successes outside of academic classes.