Graduation brings gifts

Dec 122002
Authors: Patrick Crossland

Diamond earrings. A trip to Hawaii. A New Computer.

It’s not Christmas, it’s graduation and for many students, finishing college can mean great gifts from parents and relatives.

Whether helping out with car insurance or paying for airfare to far away lands, some parents shell out big dollars to celebrate the end of a hard earned achievement.

For Karen Lehman, biochemistry student, finishing school means no more tests, no more labs and no more looking for parking on campus. It also means a trip to Hawaii.

“My mom has talked about taking my sister and I to Hawaii after graduation,” she said. “We already have airline tickets, so I know we’re going, I just don’t know exactly where (in Hawaii).”

To Lehman, a trip to Hawaii isn’t just sitting on sugar-white beaches; it’s a cultural experience.

“I’m interested in the history and cultural aspects,” said Lehman. “Their customs are so completely different, so I’m excited to learn more about that.”

Lehman, whose mom was born in Hawaii, will get to experience a lesson in history first hand. However, like many students the opportunity to see the world wouldn’t be possible without a little help from “the folks.”

“I am very lucky. I have very generous parents. I feel privileged to have parents who not only love me, but are willing to show me the world.”

For Greg Bailey, landscape design major, seeing the world just cannot wait.

“I’m taking next year off to go to New Zealand. My parents said if I went to school next year they’d give me a plane ticket to New Zealand,” he said. “But I’ll probably end up taking next year off.”

Bailey will leave in the fall and will return at the end of next spring.

“I’ve wanted to go there for a long time,” he said. “I’ve heard cool things about New Zealand. I will have already been when I graduate, but who knows, maybe I’ll want to go again and (the offer) could still be on the table.”

When Erin Hale, history major, graduates in December, he’ll most likely venture off to Costa Rica. And what better way to capture the world than with a new camera?

He has asked his parents for a digital camera to, “travel the world and record the memories.”

“My parents are probably going to surprise me,” Hale said. “I don’t want them to spend too much. I’m hoping they will spend the money for travels, help me out a little bit with that.”

But not all really great graduation gifts require a plane ticket. Some of the best gifts are the most practical things needed in everyday life.

When Eric Peatrowski, electrical engineering major, graduated in the spring of 2002, his parents gave him the gift every car owner can appreciate. A break from paying the insurance.

“My parents paid off six months of insurance on my car, Peatrowski said. “It was something practical that they knew I could use.”

Peatrowski said that he had no idea what he was going to receive for a graduation gift.

“I had no idea, my cousin got this statue of an eagle, and so I wondered what I was going to get.”

For some, a surprise is what makes the occasion a moment to remember. For Jen Price who graduated in May of 2002, the surprise came at dinner with friends and family.

“I got a pair of diamond earrings from my parents,” Price said. “It was completely a surprise. My mom knew it was something I would love but never ask for.”

Price opened her karat-cut ear d/cor in front of her friends and family while at dinner.

Thomas Stephens graduated from the University of Wyoming in the summer of 2002, and is now studying to receive his masters Degree from CSU. Knowing the work that lay ahead, Stephens’ parents bought him a computer to aid him in his studies. He received money from family members along with the computer from his parents.

Two to four years of additional schooling can only mean one thing; another graduation.

Stephens says that he hopes another graduation gift lies in his future and the possibility of receiving money is likely, and according to Stephens, “is just fine.”

Pull Quote: I am very lucky. I have very generous parents. I feel privileged to have parents who not only love me, but are willing to show me the world.”

-Karen Lehman, biochemistry major

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