Lois Lowry's Blog
I've just received photos from the Commencement ceremony at St, Mary's College in Sooth Bend, Indiana, where I was given an honorary degree last month.
It as an outdoor event on a beautiful day and I am glad to be reminded of it by the photos they sent.
I dropped out of my own graduate studies just short, actually, of getting my Master's. I had completed my course work and done the research for a master's thesis on New England writer Sarah Orne Jewett but before the thesis itself had been written, my first book was published, and I found myself working on a second. Somehow that seemed to take over, and I found myself less and less interested in my academic career.
Some years later, I got a phone message asking me to call the president of the university where I had done my graduate work (University of Southern Maine. The only thing I could think of (though it seemed odd that the president himself would call) was that they were calling to tell me that the time limit on completing my MA was running out. So I prepared my lame apologies and excuses, and called back. And he was calling to tell me that they were giving me an honorary degree.
Since then I've gotten several more, including one from the women's college my own mother and grandmother both attended. And it is always a thrill. I love walking in the procession of academics—all those wonderful robes and hoods—and feeling part of that life, briefly.
The Latin phrase Gaudeamus Igitur means, incidentally, "Let Us Rejoice." And I do. I do.