Acceptance Letters: Parents, college and letting go

What Graduation Can Mean for Parents

Ralph Gardner Jr.
May 26, 2016

Editor’s note: Wall Street Journal columnist Ralph Gardner Jr. P’11 '16 recently wrote about saying goodbye to Kenyon’s campus after the graduation of his daughter, Gracie Gardner '16. An excerpt from his column is published below. 

Here’s a question all responsible teenagers should ask themselves when applying to college: Is this school some place where my parents would want to hang out?

Or not, I suppose, depending on the quality of the relationship.

I say this after bidding farewell to Kenyon College in Ohio, the school that both my daughters attended.

Indeed, so much did my wife, Debbie, and I enjoy the institution that we didn’t just attend my younger daughter Gracie’s graduation last week, we also visited two weeks earlier to see her final dance performance.

This was no small time commitment. Each trip required driving approximately 10 hours each way from New York.

We didn’t hesitate because we knew what awaited us at the end of our journey, as it has for the previous eight years of our girls’ college educations: a happy child, a beautiful campus, and cocktail hour.

Read his full Wall Street Journal column.


Commencement Weekend 2016: Photos, speeches and more

'Learn to Listen': Best-selling author John Green '00 H'16 speaks at Commencement