The King is dead… Long live the King – another academic year comes to a close

The academic life this time of year is akin to the transition of monarchs. Where one dynasty leaves a legacy and another generation strives to make its mark in the shadow of that legacy, ultimately it is the Monarchy itself (in this case the place of education) that is maintained despite the transition of the ‘placeholders’ – be they the legacy or the innovators – during various historical epochs. The phrase (now brought to mind thanks to a lyric in Coldplay’s lead single from their latest CD) is Le Roi est mort. Vive le Roi! or The King is Dead/Long Live the King! Today at the university we celebrate such a transitional moment – students don the black gowns of the ancient academy – the color of self-denial which ironically draws attention to one’s statement of self-denial these days (I am reminded of the Shawn Colvin song ‘Polaroids’ from her Fat City CD: “Back in our home New York/Walking these streets forlorn/We all in our uniforms/Black and black/Doing that slouch and jive/The artist must survive/We’ve got all we need we cried/And we don’t look back/Thinking we had it made…”) The students process through this weekend wide eyed with wonder and the possibilities must be daunting yet now is their time, their season, their vision. It couldn’t be more exciting….

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