May 13, 2016

Rite of Passage

Rite of Passage

Yesterday I was on the 7am Amtrak Acela from New York City to Washington DC. I know what many of you are thinking, but the answer is no, I wasn’t there to mediate the meeting between House Speaker Paul Ryan and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (although I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that get together). The reason for my trip was that Leo Weiner, my second child, graduated from the George Washington University School of Business. For those of you who’ve been in the same or similar position, you know there’s nothing like seeing your child graduate from college. It brings back 21 years of memories from when they were infants, toddlers, little boys or girls, the teenage years, driving, and if we’re lucky enough, their leaving home to attend college, with the hope (or expectation) that this is the beginning of life as an independent adult.

Fortunately, Leo is one of the lucky ones who graduated with a job waiting for him. He’ll begin work on June 1 as a commercial banker with TD Bank, where he interned for two summers while attending GW. And even with a job, until the point he actually was offered and accepted the job a few months ago, going through the process of getting that first job with your soon-to-be-graduating child is not without stress. I know there are many of you who’ve been there and done that.

GW does graduation over several days. There are approximately 2,000 graduates in the class of 2016, so each of the schools has its own separate graduation ceremony in which all the graduates are called by name to receive their recognition. The School of Business had 400 graduates. After graduation yesterday and a celebratory dinner at DC’s branch of the Capital Grille (one of my favorites), I’m back on the Acela this morning (as this column posts) heading to an afternoon of meetings in our NYC office. Tomorrow morning I’ll head back to DC again on the Acela with Tracy and Lily for another celebratory dinner that night, followed Sunday morning by another graduation ceremony for the entire graduating class which takes place in the shadow of the Washington Monument on the National Mall. It should be a terrific experience.

For as much business travel as I do, it’s truly a pleasure to do all the back and forth between NYC and DC this week to celebrate such a happy family occasion. My congratulations to all of you out there, wherever you may have gone to school, who are part of the Class of 2016. And to you Leo: you’ve really made your family proud. Especially your dad.