The Great Hall at Wits is an eye-catching piece of architecture; the centre-piece in a world-class educational institute, and a reminder of an era when Johannesburg was once a young city. Within its walls students celebrate their coming of age and the achievement of their degrees. Hopes and dreams of careers as Doctors, Lawyers, Scientists, Engineers and the like, are imagined within these walls, as that significant piece of paper is handed over. The culmination of years of hard work is celebrated with families, friends and loved ones during the prestigious graduation ceremony.
A mother’s heart is filled with hope when gazing into the eyes of her new-born baby for the first time. Hope that they will be happy, hope that they will be loved, and hope that they will be successful in whatever they set out to achieve in life. When I first met Craig, he was fourteen years old: a typical teenage boy. He was outgoing and loud, occasionally self-centred and messy, and had a tendency to share way too much information. He was confident and funny, the type of guy that most people just liked. He was always surrounded by friends, and loved being the centre of attention. He was good at rugby and swimming, and he worked hard to remain at the top of his game. Academically, he did well, but it is fair to say that he probably could have worked a lot harder and achieved a lot more. (I think all parents say this of their children at some point!)
It has been a great privilege for me to watch this boy develop into a young adult, and to have been part of the journey to this high point in his life. And although I have not been there from the beginning of Craig’s life, my heart is still filled with the same hopes for him: love, happiness and success in all things, always.
On Tuesday morning, we arrived at the Wits Great Hall to share Craig’s graduation day with him, to mark the end of his studies and celebrate the beginning of his career as a Lawyer.
Our hearts swelled with pride, and our eyes welled with tears as his name was called (with distinction!) to come and receive his Bachelor of Law degree. To have graduated Cum Laude is a fantastic achievement.
This is not the first graduation of his that we have attended, as he attained his B-Com 18 months ago, but the Law degree was always the big-ticket item: the main degree he was setting out to achieve. So for all of us, getting the Law degree signified the end of his studies. When Craig expressed an interest in studying law, Gary suggested he do a B-Com Law Degree, so that he had general business knowledge as well. And although he hated every minute of it, he persevered and got his B-Com too. Craig worked harder than I have ever seen him work before on his Law subjects. He spent hundreds of hours locked away in the study during exam time, slogging away till the early hours of the morning, living on coffee and bio-plus. His chosen field of study has certainly been a natural fit for his gregarious personality, his love of history, and his penchant for watching the crime and investigation channel. His Cum Laude degree is well deserved, and testament to the incredible amount of effort that he put in to achieve this.
There is no doubt in my mind that Craig will achieve whatever he sets out to do in life from here onwards. I am so very, very proud of him, on Graduation Day and always!
Love you my boy! xx