(Tracy Reynolds is my boss and a dear friend. Here are comments he emailed our graduates at Emmanuel College. His remarks were also included on social media. As I continue thinking about graduation during this season of uncertainty, I wanted Pastor Tracy’s voice to be what we include today.)

Dearest Seniors (and Senioritas),
My phone reminded me about an hour ago that it was time for photos on the quad…and it all got very real…again. You see, this has been everything but emotionally neutral for all of us. I care. We care. Otherwise it wouldn’t matter. But, it does matter…a lot. This morning I am thinking of all the hugs that would have happened, smiles exchanged, handshakes, high fives, shouts of joy from the grandstands as each name is called out, fear and trembling in the hearts of all of us who have ever had the daunting responsibility of actually CALLING the names of every precious senior and the unspoken pressure to GET IT RIGHT with perfect enunciation and clarity, the pomp and circumstance tune played endlessly, chorale singing so beautifully, speeches from valedictorians, guests of honor, family, friends, classmates, teammates, crazy wardrobes under those black robes, blue associates robes, marshalls marshaling, faculty beaming, parents proud, honor grads honored, magna cum laude, cum laude, thank-the-laudy, cars parked everywhere, staff serving selflessly, tassels moved, hats tossed, photos galore, feasting, friendships, laughter, tears, joy, sadness, relief, goals reached, milestone passed, sacred endings, new beginnings, Emmanuel. Always, Emmanuel. God with us.
I miss you today. I am very proud of each of you. I long for time in the near future where we can share all that we missed…on graduation day.
All my love and pride,
Pastor Tracy

C. Tracy Reynolds
VP for Student Development