Gifts, Gratitude & Commencing into 2019

By: Amy Beck, marketing and communications manager on January 2nd, 2019

Fittingly, I learned something from my daughter’s recent graduation – one of three in our family this past semester.

The content of Sarah Kate’s University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire commencement speech, which she set her sights on delivering months ago, was not a surprise. That she chose to highlight my dad – with affectionate humor and deep esteem – was a gift like no other. See a video of her five-minute speech here. (Please pardon the bragging; I’m one proud mama.)







What I didn’t know about was the tradition surrounding the stole of gratitude. As commencement speaker, she was instructed to wear it during the ceremony and then give it to someone who’d played a significant role in her college education. Her dad and I are the overjoyed recipients.

I also didn’t know it was possible to be more grateful. Along with so many parents in UW-Eau Claire‘s Zorn Arena, I’m grateful for decades of shared family experiences with our graduate and the opportunity to celebrate another milestone accomplishment. Each day is a gift. Graduation day was a treasured one.

Sprinkled throughout Sarah Kate’s speech were illustrations and anecdotes about childhood adventures with her brothers and granddad. She mentioned bunk beds my dad built that included hand-painted words of wisdom. Topping the list was “honor your family – especially your grandparents.” Mission accomplished, Sarah Kate.

Reflecting and looking ahead into 2019, the Woodson Art Museum wants to bestow its “stole of gratitude” upon our visitors – more than 62,000 in 2018 and many more to come.

Exciting exhibitions – filled with learning opportunities aplenty – are in store. As Sarah Kate’s speech concluded, “it’s time to start.” Begin your new year with resolve; visit the Woodson Art Museum often for new discoveries and gifts of shared experiences throughout 2019.

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