Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Sensational Stanford Graduation

What fun we had at Ian’s graduation from Stanford on June 14th! We celebrated his work for the past six years as he earned his PhD in Economics and Finance. 

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!


richard said...

If I don't mind saying so, YOU are quite a blogger, and that is quite a Son!

Unknown said...

"Although Charity and Ian’s dating years were tempestuous, we came to know Ian as a great guy "... This really comes across poorly and I can't imagine that 1) it even needed to be said 2) it would not make me feel good at all if I were Ian or Charity 3) who cares...the past is the past--why even bring it up 4) Terrible way to start this post...a slam and then go on to be overly complimentary. Not sure if you really meant it that way??

Linda said...

Wow! Sorry if this came across this way! Just meant to say that we were impressed with Ian from the moment we met him and we are delighted to learn about his amazing accomplishments!. Ian and charity are with us now and both seem happy with the post.

Unknown said...

Congratulations to Ian! (And it looks like crazy Uncle Chris takes after his older brother! They could be twins!)

Susan said...

Anyone who also reads Charity's blog would totally understand what you meant about their dating years. Wonderful post and wonderful blog!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Ian.

I understand where BaconBear4 is coming from. I'm sure you didn't mean it to sound the way it did. Reading something is much different than hearing the person speak.

I too feel like their break up, rocky start, etc is brought up a LOT on the various blogs of your family members. Maybe it's unconscious - but noticeable to someone from the outside looking in.

Plus, I don't know about dating "years"......they didn't date that long the first time...maybe one year....I can't remember. And this second time - like 5 minutes before they got married!

Unknown said...

BaconBear4/Troll: If you ever met Linda Eyre you would quickly discover she hasn't one spiteful or mean spirited bone in her body. In other words one can take anything she says or writes with the highest intention of kindness towards others. Her non-judgmental observation (and comment) was a narrative on a story she saw her child experience. You are certainly entitled to an opinion but you clearly do not know her. (PS and no I am not Mormon just someone who celebrates authentically kind people) Rock on Linda!

Lisa said...

Superb accomplishment!
Congratulations to Ian, Charity, and family members who are beaming with pride.
Well earned.
Beautiful post.

Lisa said...

Different from the first "Unknown"
I don't believe it's anyone's business the rollercoaster Ian and Charity experienced. That is between them. So happy to see their happiness and success. I wish them continued happiness in their journey together.
THey have fabulous parents too!

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's anyone's business either, that's why I wonder why on all the family's various blogs it's the first thing they bring up when starting a story about Charity and Ian. It's like they want him to know they may have forgiven but definitely not forgotten.

Jen said...

I'm not sure what you mean by they have "forgiven" Ian. From what I can tell they never felt like they had anything to "forgive" him for. I think you are assuming two things: one, their relationship's ups and downs were all Ian's fault and two, Charity's parents were upset with Ian. From everything I have noticed and read about Charity and Ian - no one was ever mad! Heartbroken, yes. Hopeful, yes. Sad, yes. But not mad. I'm pretty sure by Linda stating the fact that their relationship was "tempestuous" she was merely referring to something that is a part of Charity and Ian's story, not something negative. If you read the definition of tempestuous it says: "characterized by strong and turbulent or conflicting emotion". I think it's beautiful that they were both able to work through their strong emotions and figure out what to do about the parts that were conflicting and turbulent. Isn't that what we all do when something is hard in life? I also think it is beautiful that Charity's parents were there to give advice when asked, to comfort when needed, and to cheer them on now. Isn't it wonderful that they don't feel a need to ignore a much needed and important part of Charity and Ian's dating experience? Isn't it wonderful that Charity and Ian can look at it with the perspective that they do? As for it being nobody's business, that is a whole different issue. Everyone gets to decide how much they share on their own blog, including you! If you aren't comfortable sharing those types of things, by all means don't share them. I don't share as much as they do myself. If you are uncomfortable reading about someone else's relationship, you have complete control over when you click the "x". But to find fault and pick out what you think is wrong with people who are obviously doing their best and are obviously good people through and through seems to me to be going a little bit too far. I'm grateful that there are people who are willing to open up more than I am on social media so that I can learn from them and see examples of real struggles that real people overcome in life. I think that because the Eyre's celebrate struggles and successes and look at them as growing and learning opportunities, they don't feel like it is negative to mention that Charity and Ian's relationship had some rocky times. We might all be better off to confront those rocky times we all have in the same way they do! I know I wish I could do a better job of that.

Anonymous said...

Agree with all you said. But it's still in poor taste to keep bringing it up.

Anonymous said...

And it's also in really poor taste to post his CV/resume here. Yes, we know - Charity snagged a smart one - makes the whole wait worthwhile.