A little over a week and a half ago, I flew to England for one of the University of Reading’s graduation ceremonies. I arrived in the country on Thursday night at London City Airport, which is a delightfully small airport for a big place like London. It takes about three minutes to go through passport control, pick up your checked baggage, and get out the door. On my way to Paddington Station, I met up with Joke and Mathieu, who had each taken EuroStar trains to St Pancras. We got into Reading a little after midnight. Since we were staying with members of the new MATD class, we had to go where they were. And they were having a party.
I must admit that the sight of book and typeface design students partying in the Typography Department at one in the morning was a shocking sight. We certainly never turned the MA Studio into a disco, complete with darkness and crazy projections. On the other hand, there was plenty of beer. Who can find fault with that?
Our graduation ceremony was at noon on Saturday. I think that it was one of three consecutive commencements that day. The ceremony took place on the University’s London Road campus. Due to its historicist buildings and the caps, gowns, and hoods that we had to rent, the atmosphere felt a lot like the set of a Harry Potter movie. This oddness was completely offset by being able to see everyone again.
Although we shared it with many other students, our commencement had a distinct Typography theme. First, Professor Emeritus Michael Twyman received an honorary doctorate. Additionally, Christopher Cipkin, who had been our liaison in the University Library, played the organ.
After we had returned the graduation items that we had rented for £42, we decamped to the town center for lunch. Michi and I were able to convince almost everyone that we should have lunch at Chili’s. This argument was much easier than I had anticipated. From Chili’s, we wandered from Starbucks to Oaklands, and then to a small pub.