Although Charity and Ian’s dating years were tempestuous, we came to know Ian as a great guy adored by everyone who knows him including every grandchild. He is a self-starter who sees needs and fulfills them and who has the dishes done after every meal before anyone realizes what has happened!
We knew he loved his work at Stanford but by the end of that beautiful summer graduation day on the Stanford Campus we knew that there was more to Ian than anyone, except his parents and immediate family, knew. I requested that he send me his CV/resume and was astonished by what I saw in five pages of accomplishments.
Here are just a few extractions from that document that will give you a glimpse of the quite incredible things Ian has done: It’s worth getting out your glasses to see this!
How blessed are we to have this brilliant guy join our family? Here is the happy couple as they headed out the door from Richard’s brother’s house in Fremont to Palo Alto for graduation.
They had just returned from trip of a lifetime! After they both completed their work in Palo Alto and Ian had accepted a job working in finance in Central London starting on August 1st, they had a little slice of time that they realized would never come again and planned a trip that they named: Around the World in 80 Days!
They arrived in California just a few days before graduation and we had so much fun having them debrief us on their wild adventure. We smiled when we saw their only souvenirs from each country….magnets for their future little refrigerator in London. Great idea!
We’ve seen lots of University graduations through the years including, Harvard, Colombia, Wellesley, U Penn, USC, BYU, Weber State and USU but we have to say that we’ve never seen anything quite like this! The graduation was held at the Stanford Football Stadium where 7,000 undergraduates and 8,000 graduate students received their honors. At Colombia we saw the graduate students in the Law School walk in with large blow-up sharks under their arms, graduates from the business school had dollar bills attached to their mortar boards and the Social Work graduates (with Saydi among them), had big red hearts atop of their "boards."
It was a raucous morning for undergrads at Stanford as they filed in on that giant field! Each school seemed to have a different theme as they marched in on the field. We saw everything from a “Blue Man Group” to loincloths, to graduates holding enormous posters of themselves as babies. There were “rainbows” and Sesame Street characters. You name it. We saw it! These pictures don’t do it justice (maybe this isn’t intended to have justice). But here is a bit of what we saw unfold as the undergrads walked out!
It started fairly calmly and got more and more crazy as the procession progressed! Wish I knew how to post video because there’s no way you can really get what is happening here without the wild dancing and the Jazz band accompanying the entourage! But this is a glimpse!
Here come the blue men:
The graduate students were a little more sedate and very dignified!
Richard Engel was the Commencement speaker. Since he is an American journalist and foreign correspondent who has covered the war in Iraq and Afghanistan for many years and has been held by terrorists, his advice was to go out into the world and have an adventure….not just sit in a cubicle. He encouraged them to take risks and get out there and experience life to the fullest. I have to say that he may not know that the greatest adventure and also the greatest risk in life is having a family, which also happens to be the most fun!
The individual college convocation was our favorite part, other than just being there with Ian and his parents and Charity. The convocation speaker gave some spectacular advice in a short speech to the Masters and Ph.D students who gathered under a canopy in front of the famous Hoover Tower where Ian had spent so much time as his office was next door. The distinguished John Pencavel with a wonderful British accent gave just three bits of stellar advice:
1) Don’t be prideful 2), Spread you good luck around and 3) Don’t work all the time. Take at least one day off a week. Perfect!
We were so pleased to be there to see Ian receive the Centennial Teaching Award, which was given to the top four teaching assistants (TAs). We loved basking in the love that everyone who had been associated with Ian at the school expressed for Ian’s great character, hard work and dedication!
Of course his parents were thrilled for Ian’s success! Ian even arranged for his dad, Gordon, to “hood him” as he came through the line to receive his diploma. Gordon had graduated from the Stanford Law School many years ago but missed his own graduation because he had to go to work. What a thrill that was for all of us!
Gordon and Lynette were so proud of their Ian’s outstanding accomplishments and I think Charity thinks he is pretty awesome too!
Still kissing after all these months!
We were so happy to have our beloved and crazy Uncle Chris and kind Aunt Hedy who generously hosted all of us for the weekend and who have been such terrific supporters for these newlyweds including providing a place for them to store all their stuff while they gallivanted around the world.
It was a day that none of us will ever forget! Congratulations on twenty five years of hard dedicated school work Ian (starting at age five). Here’s to a lovely launch in London!