My Graduation from Berkeley!
I celebrated my last night as an MBA student in style, inviting my family, Adriana and our family friend Arlene out for a lovely dinner at Julius’ Castle, a fancy restaurant about two blocks from my apartment up on Telegraph Hill with fantastic views of the bay, the Bay Bridge and the East Bay. It was definitely a meal and a night to remember, and really great to have my family in town from Australia for such an important event.
The graduation ceremony began early the next morning. Originally the ceremony was planned to be outdoors at the Greek Theatre on campus, but iffy weather meant that the ceremony was shifted indoors into the cavernous Haas Pavilion (the last time that had happened was 1994!).
The ceremony was a fairly short affair and definitely more low-key than what I was used to in Australia. Some classmates didn’t bother to dress up and even wore casual clothes/shorts under their gowns (a Berkeley thing apparently…). The gowns themselves were different to what I was used to and zipped up at the front; I was wearing my grandfather’s gown which was open. Along with the black gown we wore a hood (with cafe latte brown colour inside for business administration) and the ubiquitous black trencher cap with blue and gold tassles.
We walked in to the centre of the pavilion and took our seats. There was a brief intro by the Dean Tom Campbell and then a short motivational/leadership speech by Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflicks. Following that was a humorous speech by two of my classmates, Dave Levine and Adam Gouttierre, that was hilarious and full of inside jokes (that none of my family got). Finally, we all took turns walking across stage to collect the (fake) diploma, shake hands with the dean and pose for photos.
The school put on a lovely reception directly following the ceremony at the Campanile Esplenade, directly in front of the clock tower at the centre of campus. It was the perfect event to relax and unwind, and a good chance to say goodbye to a lot of people we likely won’t see again for a long time (or ever!). I had mixed feelings about it all finishing up after two of the most amazing years of my life.