Graduations and new beginnings abound…

This past two weekends we celebrated Courtney’s graduations from the University of Washington’s and the Foster School of Business with a quick trip to Boston between the weekends.

There was a lot that made these weekends special. First, Courtney is a fourth generation grad from the UW; great grandma, both grandparents (Shannon’s parents) and Shannon and I. Oddly enough, Courtney became a Kappa the same as Shannon and lived across the street from my fraternity.

KKG House @ 4504 18th Ave NE
Sigma Chi composite 1981 freshman year

She also graduated from Foster the same school as me (the buildings are a lot nicer now). Over four years we all had fun sharing and reminiscing about UW and Greek life stories.

Foster School of Business~much nicer now than 1981

Second, the weekends were spent with family celebrating Courtney. We had a casual dinner by Green Lake and then the next day had lunch by the water and went for a bike ride to Gasworks Park. Later that day Pa, Gram and Linda drove up from Portland for the BIG dinner.

Lunch @ Aqua Verde

The celebratory dinner was had at a Seattle institution of fine dining, Canlis. Courtney has always wanted to go there and so had I. It sits high on Queen Anne hill next to the Aurora Bridge overlooking South Lake Union. Shannon made the res 6 months ago to the day. We were lucky to get in! We enjoyed a seven course meal of uniquely prepared food (perhaps too unique for some). It was 3 hours long and quite filling. Truly a special occasion meal and celebration 🤑!

Canlis-the dinner was better than the “focus” of this pic

There were two graduations separated by a week; the business school graduation of 750 young adults and then the next entire university graduation of 7000+.

Foster Graduation (graduation #1) @ Alaska Airlines Hec Ed Arena
She dabbed! (video)
UW Commencement (graduation #2) @ Husky Stadium

Most importantly we celebrated a very special, hardworking and determined young woman~Courtney. She was a direct admit to one of the most prestigious undergraduate business schools in America, made the deans list all but one quarter, and graduated with two majors (entrepreneurship, marketing), two minors (global health, environmental studies) and a professional selling certificate, oh and she worked too. She navigated a brutal couple years going to school in a global pandemic, a bad living circumstance and had plenty of fun times along the way. There were a lot of ups and downs however Courtney got up every time! That’s who she is…

Family pic

Courtney’s bright future reminds me of the Rascal Flatts song-My Wish. “My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it too”

A new UW grad! 👩🏼‍🎓

I was even able to sneak in a quick graduation celebration swim in Lake Washington. A bit brisk at first and then refreshing and doable. I hope in the future Lake Washington and I will get to know each other a bit better.

Yes or No~Madison Park (video)
Lake Washington with Mt. Rainier in the background

With the graduation and new beginnings theme in mind it was time for a quick trip to Boston. It was great to be back in The Hub. Some great memories all around.

Morning light from Mass Ave Bridge

After over two years due to COVID I had the opportunity to jump back in the MIT pool. It was so fun to be in familiar surroundings with old friends.

MIT’s Z Center-many laps logged here

Just like all long swims you finally reach the end destination. Well…after 34 years I have reached the end…of my John Hancock career. It was a great ride however it’s time to start a new chapter actually a new book.

Copley Square

Telling the team wasn’t easy and we all needed some tissues. Like a good long swim its important to focus on the journey and what got you there. For me I was blessed on this journey with family, “work” friends that became “real” friends, corporate relocations and experiences good and bad (mostly good) that made this journey so enjoyable and successful.

To paraphrase Tim McGraw’s song My Next 30 Years it’s the “ending of an era, a turning of a page, now it’s time to focus on where I go from here…”

Wow-what a week it has been! We are blessed in so many respects…

Coaster at Ryan’s house-how appropriate


  1. Dear Shannon and Bob,
    Such wonderful moments with all of you standing strong as a family. Congratulations! A toast and lots of hugs for your whole team.
    Sue Chisholm


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