Recently I photographed commencement exercises at Claremont Graduate University, where some 375 Master’s and Doctoral candidates received their sheepskins, recognizing the completion of this chapter of their formal education.
College staff congratulated students they’d nurtured through the years and honorary degrees where handed out to those who had accomplished great things, including ESRI’s Jack Dangermond, bottom right. As I made pictures and collected names, I asked what would come next for the graduates. Would they remain within the protective cocoon of academia, or would they venture off into the world to seek fame, fortune and make their mark? Many said, “I don’t know,” or “Get a job, hopefully,” without a great deal of confidence. It’s a tough market for college graduates right now, even after many have mortgaged their lives with student loan debt. A recent Wall Street Journal Online story indicates that even as Americans are reducing debt overall, they still are taking on more debt in the form of student loans, while college costs continue to increase.