Regent University Commencement Exercises

Well, it's official! Well, almost. Even almost-er than before when I defended my dissertation. I'm so perilously close to having my doctoral degree, I can taste it.

On Saturday, May 8, 2010, I participated in the Regent University Commencement Exercises. Even more meaningful was the Commissioning Ceremony the previous afternoon, which was a worship service and hooding ceremony just for the School of Psychology & Counseling. At the ceremony, my faculty placed my doctoral hood over my head, anointed my forehead with oil, and prayed over me. And the following morning at Commencement, Dr. Robertson himself conferred upon me the degree "Doctor of Psychology", with all the rights and privileges thereto appertaining. I even got to switch my tassel to the other side!

I am so grateful to the Lord for sustaining me through the past five years. What a journey it has been. And I praise God not only for His faithfulness, but for the steadfast support of my beloved husband at every turn. When I moved to Virginia Beach to start this program, he followed without hesitation. When my internship brought us to Reading, PA, he uprooted himself from his stable, decent-paying job and is now working two part-time jobs and taking library science courses - finally, a chance to pursue his own dreams. Joel, husband of my youth, I know that you are not one for grand laudatory comments or public acknowledgments of your merit. But you are truly my rock and my hero. For your selflessness and constant encouragement over the last five years, I thank you. I could not have done it without you, and that is no exaggeration.

I also thank my parents - mom and dad, I will always remember your gift of my doctoral hood and all that that symbolizes. As the song says, your love has given me roots, and helped me find my wings.

To mom and dad Pearce, I thank you as well, for welcoming me into your family even as I was about to drag your wonderful son on this whirlwind adventure of a doctoral program. Thank you for your support and encouragement, and for advising me so strongly against getting off of the train in the middle of the tunnel.

There are so many thanks to be poured out here. My precious sister, and my sisters and brothers in law, you have all been behind me every step of the way. My cohort members have been sweet friends and fellow sojourners through the crucible that is a clinical psychology program. I don't even remember who I was before you all came into my life.

Before this becomes an Oscar acceptance speech (too late?), allow me to cut to the photographic evidence.
Behold, almost-Dr. Pearce:

Two sweet friends, Amy and Michele, and Michele's little Jacob.
This is pre-hooding, hence the bare black graduation robes.

Complete regalia, after the Commissioning/hooding Ceremony. It's not that I favor the Pearces over my own family, but somehow this was the only picture I have access to at the moment!

And, complete with the souvenir hat and fake diploma! If we look a little uncomfortable, it's because we were - I baked in my own portable oven on a brick patio at 90 degrees for three hours. Joel at least got to sit in the shade...

And what's all this to-do about a hood? Behold, the Regent Psy.D. hood in (most of) its glory! It has a sweet tail thing at the bottom that shows more of the royal blue and green colors.

To clarify, I will be totally official when I have completed my internship and that final internship credit has posted with the registrar. Then, they will unceremoniously mail me a diploma, and I will commence signing even my grocery receipts with a "Psy.D." on the end.

Thanks for your kind attention, if you've read this far. Here ends the public lauding of my own success, I promise. Now, back to the barely-paying, lowly intern grind...hmm, I think this post was more to remind me that I really did graduate, than it was to inform anybody else of the fact. I love being in tune with my underlying psychological drives...