Chelsea’s Graduation

Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 2Just over three weeks ago Chelsea graduated from St Mary’s with her Master’s Degree.  Despite the fact that it is typically a much smaller scale than in the US, she had ten guests as her party because everyone wanted to cheer her on to victory.

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We got a few pre-ceremony pictures and then headed inside.
Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 14The ceremony was held in a beautiful chapel on campus.  I have to admit that sitting in a church with my camera around my neck kicked me back into wedding second-shooter mode.  It was all I could do to restrain myself from standing up in the aisle to get pictures of the processional as they were coming in.  Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 13Sonny and his family hadn’t arrived yet because they were having trouble with their travel cards, so Chris went outside to wait for them and give them their tickets so that they could get inside.Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 15Chelsea was seated with the graduates behind us, and made this face (below) which I’ve told her before to use at her discretion because I will use that photo.
Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 16Here she is again (below), pretending to read her program so that I won’t keep taking her picture. 🙂
Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 17Sonny and his family arrived in time for the ceremony but had to sit on the sides.  Luckily they were still able to see everything that was going on, and I promise that Sonny didn’t have this look on his face the whole time. 🙂
Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 18There was a group of trumpeters on the balcony at the back of the church that kicked the ceremony off.  It was beautiful.  Then things got rolling.
Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 19Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 20Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 21Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 22You can see Chelsea’s name under the fifth sub-heading on the left hand side.
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Master of Science in Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology
Chelsea Rae Golden
Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 25Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 26One of Chelsea’s advisors had told Chris in the weeks beforehand that she was only the second or third person ever to complete this program in only one year, and that they were really happy that she had done so well.

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Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 29After the ceremony the students were asked to stand and clap for the friends and family that had supported them in their program.  Chelsea stood and clapped, but she did not make eye contact with anyone and did not cry. 🙂
Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 30Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 31Then we were dismissed for the after party.Chelsea s Graduation Ceremony 32Chelsea s Graduation Party 1Chelsea talking to the Head of her program and one of her supervisors, I think.Chelsea s Graduation Party 2I was trying to be sneaky, and then she said, “That’s my sister, the photographer,”  so I came over to meet them formally.  But since she had already set their expectations with me as the photographer, I took the opportunity to get the “everyone looking everyone smiling” photo.Chelsea s Graduation Party 3Chelsea s Graduation Party 4Then we moved over to the courtyard to get a few pictures with the graduate.Chelsea s Graduation Party 6Chelsea s Graduation Party 7Chelsea s Graduation Party 8Chelsea s Graduation Party 9Chelsea s Graduation Party 10Chelsea s Graduation Party 13We headed inside where they had a few stunning rooms set aside for everyone with a beautiful buffet lunch.
Chelsea s Graduation Party 12In the little room straight ahead there was a little jazz band playing while we ate lunch and the large windows overlooked the beautiful green courtyard.  It was perfect.  It was an appropriately formal event, with a beautiful setting, and overall a very grand feeling.  It was the type of event that you would be happy that people made the effort to travel from anther country to attend.
Chelsea s Graduation Party 11I neglected to get any pictures of us all chatting and having lunch because I was eating.  But also because there is that slight weirdness when you are trying to eat your food and chat, but the person beside you has a giant camera and you are afraid that there will be a picture of you with that strange face that you make mid-chew.  So I spared our families.  But Justin and Chelsea did briefly hijack my camera when I went to the bathroom, which is to be expected.
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After the ceremony, Justin, Tasha, Mom and I went back to the flat to chill out for a bit and get set up for everyone to arrive later.  I had decorated the flat in a few places with strings of “polaroid bunting,” where I had printed out memorable iPhone photos of notable occasions during Chelsea’s year in London, and stuck them to small pieces of paper.  The polaroid around the flower vase was from the morning when Chelsea handed in her thesis, triumphantly holding her printed copy.  I made the other polaroids into cupcake toppers, and just kept wandering around the flat putting up little things here and there until everyone arrived.
Chelsea took Sonny and his family around SMUC showing them the notable sites on campus, walked along the beautiful Thames River to our house, by Richmond and the Richmond Bridge which she has always been particularly fond of.  It wasn’t an extremely warm day, but it was sunny and just warm enough for the walk to be pleasant.  Everyone arrived at our flat about 45 minutes or so before dinner, which was just enough time to relax for a bit before digging into a good meal.Chelsea s Graduation Party 15Chelsea s Graduation Party 16We had booked one of Chelsea’s local favorites for our meal, a fantastic little noodle bar that our party took up most of.  The food was ready quickly and delicious!  It was perfect.  Only a few pictures here because, again, that thing about taking pictures of people while they are eating.
Chelsea s Graduation Party 19Chelsea s Graduation Party 20Chelsea s Graduation Party 18Chelsea s Graduation Party 17After dinner everyone came back to our flat for dessert, drinks, and more hanging out.  We toasted our graduate and finished the night off with a round of her favorite London desserts, including South Street’s delicious carrot cake, my cupcakes, and Kate’s infamous (and incredible) chocolate tiffin.  There wasn’t enough left of it all for my liking.
Chelsea s Graduation Party 24Chelsea s Graduation Party 25Chelsea s Graduation Party 22It was a perfect celebration of our graduate.
Congratulations Chelsea!