Twenty-six members of the Class of 2017 now part of Long Gray Line

Story and photos by Kathy Eastwood Staff Writer

January 4th, 2018 | News, News and Features
Twenty-six Class of 2017 cadets graduated and received their dipolmas from the Dean of the Academic Board Brig. Gen. Cindy Jebb Dec. 22 at Robinson Auditorium.
Twenty-six Class of 2017 cadets took the commissioning oat.
Twenty-six Class of 2017 cadets threw their hats in the air after the words “class dismissed” during the traditional hat toss at the end the Graduation and Commissioning Ceremony Dec. 22 at Robinson Auditorium. Cadets graduating in December generally had to extend the usual 47 months due to a variety of reasons, including medical and family issues.

Twenty-six Class of 2017 cadets graduated Dec. 22 at Robinson Auditorium.
For cadets graduating six months later than their classmates, there was still a certain amount of exhilaration that the day had finally come, although a bit bittersweet. Late graduation is generally due to illnesses, family emergencies and military and academic challenges, but all the graduates persevered.
“Graduation from West Point at any time of the year is a special occasion and you have much to be proud as today’s ceremony is a fitting end to years of physical, mental and military preparation,” Dean of the Academic Board Brig. Gen. Cindy Jebb said. “I know your journey here was not easy, and you were uncertain at times as to whether you would be sitting here today. Congratulations. You are here.”
Jebb spoke of the perseverance of the cadets to continue despite challenges and advised the graduates to embrace challenges and uncertainty, especially as they march into an uncertain world as leaders, and offered a quote from Edmund Hillary as he topped Mount Everest.
“While on top of Everest, I looked across the valley towards the great peak Makalu and mentally worked out a route about how it could be climbed. It showed me that even though I was standing on top of the world, it wasn’t the end of everything. I was still looking beyond to other interesting challenges,” Hillary said.
“I am very proud to be a part of the special occasion to these grads who have successfully survived the challenges,” Jebb stated.
Jebb advised the cadets to continue to “develop yourself intellectually, militarily and physically, read about the profession of arms, develop interests outside the profession and pursue the intellectual passion sparked during your studies here.”
Jebb and Deputy Commandant, Col. Joseph Davidson, presented the diplomas while members of the Class of 1967, the 50-year affiliate class for the Class of 2017, Bill Koch, retired Col. Dave Blanchard and retired Lt. Col. Bob Stromberg presented the lieutenant bars.
The ceremony for late graduation is the same as the May graduation including taking the oath, and as Davidson said, “Cadets, class dismissed,” hats were flung in the air, hugs given all around and hundreds of selfies taken as the 26 cadets placed one foot in front of the other and marched ahead to graduate and to put to work what they have learned and internalized to become leaders in the profession of arms.