(Wenham MA) Five players connected to the Gordon College men’s basketball program graduated today; Jaren Yang, Dylan Marshall, Graham Tienhaara, Jake Hart, and Steve Vampatella.
For those just now paying attention, my wife and I do all we can to attend Gordon graduations. Why? We get attached to the players (and their families) and want to get one more look at them on campus. Some will come back next season to see how their former teammates are doing. Others will move away and move on, rarely seen again.
The weather was set to be an issue today. The forecasts during the week had rain falling on Saturday morning. If that happened, then the event would have been in the limited-space Bennett Center. I wasn’t even sure if we could get in!
But God is gracious. I looked on the Gordon website last night and the graduation time was moved up to 9:30 and it would be held outdoors rain or shine. I shuttered to imagine a graduation in the rain. My camera was totally against it!
But I got up this morning and saw that the rain had been “shifted” to the afternoon. God was in the details and gave us sun for the event. I noticed something special about the clouds over the campus today.
We love to see the flowering trees on campus. They always seem to be at their peak in mid-May. I know that God provides the sun and the rain but the maintenance crew was really on their game too.
Our goal at these graduations is to get as many pictures as possible of “our” players in different graduation spots. We also look for the unexpected people, that we know, that happen to be on hand.
They’ve probably done this before, but I liked hearing the faculty applaud the students when they marched by them at the start and later when the students reciprocated as the faculty filed out at the end of commencement.
Richard came up with a wonderful line: “God doesn’t want us to be successful, He wants us to be faithful.”
I have known Polly Wilson for a long time. As kids we were both on the Rumney (NH) Bible Conference grounds for a lot of summers. She was a talented piano player even then. I was keen on ping pong.
At the commencement I took pictures of three caps. One of them had Phil 4:13 (I can do all this through him who gives me strength.) on it. One of the teachers-to-be had “Now it’s my time to teach.” And then there was Jaren’s.
I saw Gordon coach Tod Murphy afterwards and asked him if had found players to replace the graduated ones. He told me that he had two 6-4 players coming as well as a point guard.
Good to see four seniors-to-be, from the team, on hand cheering on their graduating teammates. Some of them will be on the Gordon Quadrangle next year, about this time, wondering where their four years have gone.
Good luck to the five seniors. We hope to see them again.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge significantly when you click on them.)