Community Service

My award

So this hap­pened.


In mid-April , one of the admin assis­tants from the President’s office caught up with me at cof­fee time and said, “You’ve been select­ed as this year’s recip­i­ent of the Board of Gov­er­nors’ com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice award.”

I said, “Huh?”  I hadn’t even know I was nom­i­nat­ed.  (I still don’t know who nom­i­nat­ed me; it’s a pri­vate, con­fi­den­tial deal.  But I do thank who­ev­er it might have been.)

I was told I could have up to six guests attend the University’s con­vo­ca­tion, if I want­ed.  Unfor­tu­nate­ly, my wife was unavoid­ably out of town on the date of the cer­e­mo­ny.  My moth­er made the trip from the big city, though, and X, my so-called “judo wife”, came along as well.

Sev­er­al peo­ple asked me if I’d be mak­ing a speech; I told them that I hadn’t been informed one way or the oth­er if a speech was expect­ed, so I hadn’t pre­pared any­thing.  I was ready to ad-lib some­thing short, though, if the need arose.  My boss end­ed up in the seat beside me on the stage, in the sec­ond row of the plat­form par­ty.  As the grads were fil­ing across the stage to get their sheep­skins, he leaned over and whis­pered, “So how long is your speech?”

I replied, “I real­ly won’t know till I’m done.”  He laughed soft­ly and sat back up.

As it turned out, I didn’t need to say any­thing; I just stood next to the Pres­i­dent, look­ing pret­ty, while she read off the bio I’d sub­mit­ted.  Then she hand­ed me the framed cer­tifi­cate, the pho­tog­ra­ph­er (a friend of mine, as luck would have it) snapped some pho­tos, the crowd went wild, and I sat down.


After the cer­e­mo­ny was com­plete, we stuck around for some fur­ther pho­tos.  X talked me into let­ting her do the kata-guru­ma lift for the cam­era.  In our fan­cy clothes.

(If you don’t know what kata-guru­ma is, check the video below.  Note that X put me back down on my feet, as we didn’t have any mats back­stage.)

And that’s how my week­end went. How was yours?