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I participated in my first baccalaureate and graduation commencement services at Lindenwood University (St. Charles, MO) this past weekend.  Patient volunteers tried to get us faculty folks lined up; it’s like herding cats.  As we neared closer to going into the venue to take our seats, I heard some ‘noise’ around the corner.  I thought initially it was the sound of water in the pipes over neath us.   But it wasn’t noise but it was clapping.  As the graduates paraded pass us to enter the venue to take their seats, I noticed faculty members clapping for the graduates.  The graduates were just as surprised as I was.  Yet we clapped and clapped and clapped and clapped.  Once the graduates entered the venue, we entered and this time the standing graduates clapped for us as we were led to our seats.   Then a replay happened following the official ceremonies – the address, awarding of diplomas, etc.  As we (the faculty) joined in our processional, the graduates once again stood and clapped for us.  Then we lined up in the halls outside the venue and you guessed it, we clapped for the graduates once again.  I asked one of my colleagues, is this a tradition?  He said yes.  What a wonderful tradition it is: both professors and students commend it each other for it took each other to get to this point.

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