I'm an Olin graduate!
One week ago today I walked across the stage, shook hands, and received my Olin diploma. I can't even begin to sum up my experiences over the past four years, so I'm not going to try. Likewise, it would be impossible for me to name all the people who helped me to get here and made my journey so incredible and memorable. The best I can do is to say thank you, for everything, to each and every one of you.
The commencement ceremony had a good dose of the Olin flavor (not too much pomp and circumstance). Student greeter Sean McBride ('07) gave a fantastic speech, by turns touching and hilarious. Professor Allen Downey also injected some humor into his reflections on our time here (a crowd-pleasing highlight was his explanation of the SCOPE program - Seniors Coping with Olin's Preposterous Expectations). Departing Wellesley president Diana Chapman Walsh shared a poem along with her unique perspective on Olin's history and purpose. And David Wurtz ('07) used his alphabetical advantage to lead the whole crowd in doing the wave. If you're so inclined, you can watch the whole thing online (or even download it to your iPod, if you're some kind of Olin superfan).
Before everyone split up for family dinners, buried themselves in packing up, moving out, moving on - before the onset of "real life", the class of 2007 spent some quality time together. For maybe the first time since our orientation four years ago, we got to simply enjoy each other's company - bowling, riding roller coasters, partying, reflecting, champagne toasting - without all the daily pressures of Olin. These rare opportunities have been my favorite of all.
In many ways, my time at Olin ends as it began. It was the people - the incredible students, faculty and staff - that brought me here when Olin was just a tiny, unfinished school that nobody had ever heard of. And it is the people that I'll remember most, now that Olin is a tiny, unfinished school that is starting to make quite a name for itself. What I'm going to miss most is all these people I've worked with, played with, lived with, helped build a college with, and come to love. I know they'll go on to do amazing things - indeed, they already have.
So what about me? In the fall, I'll be starting at Cornell University, working towards a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I'm really excited and anxious to get started on my latest adventure (though not so excited about finding a place to live - anybody know a good place in Ithaca?). In the meanwhile, I'm planning to spend some time at the beach, work on my golf game, and read a good book or two (feel free to post suggestions).
I never would have figured myself a blogger, but it has truly been a pleasure sharing a little piece of my Olin experience with you here. Thanks for reading!
Ben Hill (Olin alumnus '07)