With three weeks still remaining before graduation, reports from Brookings Quad indicate that the first sets of grandparents have already arrived to save front-row seats for the ceremony. Their numbers vary as many come and go from the Quad to make frequent trips to the Holmes Lounge soup bar, but estimates put the number of elderly folks somewhere around 20 as of this printing.
The university has confirmed that this is a normal occurrence, although the number of grandparents populating the quad in their lawn chairs has increased in recent years.
“Often we start to see them arrive at the beginning of May,” said Vice Chancellor Lori S. White, “although we’ve occasionally had grandparents show up as early as February. They don’t cause too much trouble, and they almost always bring enough kaiser rolls and Werther’s sugar free butterscotch candies to make it until graduation.”
Though some students have expressed concern that the grandparents shouldn’t be out there in the sun and rain for so long, none so far have volunteered to host them in their apartments until the ceremony. But none of the old folks interviewed seemed to mind much.
“Oh, I’m just so proud of my granddaughter Rebecca, and I know she’s busy with her studies,” said Elaine Goldstein, 83. “Or is it my grandson Robert? I can never keep them straight anymore. Say, are you single? Rebecca is a very smart girl, going to Cornell Law next year. She’d like a tall boy like you! Let me give you her number.”