2017 Ari Echt-Wilson Stanford Graduation



On 6/18/2017 Ari Echt-Wilson graduated from Stanford University.    Ari majored in STS (Science, Technology, and Society).  Click on any picture of the largest "original" that I have.  First of all, here is Ari's announcement of graduation scanned in:


HERE IS A PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ALBUM by real photographers (not me!): http://news.stanford.edu/2017/06/18/stanford-commencement-weekend-2017-pictures/

Ari's photo movie age 13 - 22 (this was done by Ari's father Randy Wilson):


First some movies of the weekend's events.  The first movie below is 10 seconds long and records the moment Ari's name and major are read out loud as she is officially inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.


Movie showing Ari receiving her diploma in the STS department ceremony.  STS stands for Science, Technology, and Society.  Click here for the very highest quality original.


Now in time order, here is Howard Wilson (Ari's Grandfather on her father's side) arriving into San Francisco Airport (SFO).  Howard can only walk a few feet with a cane, so he is whisked through SFO on a wheelchair going to baggage claim to get his wheelchair that was checked as luggage.


Howard after a long day closes his eyes as the Singapura cats sit on top of him in Portola Valley.


The next day (Friday, June 16, 2017) we went to "Opa" in Palo Alto before a 9pm Phi Beta Kappa ceremony.  Below from left to right: Howard Wilson (Ari's grandfather on her father's side), Ari Echt-Wilson (the graduate), Carole Echt (Ari's grandmother on mother's side) and David Echt (Ari's grandfather on mother's side).


Here is: Brian Wilson (me - Ari's uncle), Ari, and Katherine Chung (Ari's Aunt).


Howard Wilson (Ari's grandfather) and Ari.


Ari and her grandmother Carole Echt.


An hour later here we are gathering in "Bing Auditorium" for the Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony for Ari at Stanford.


Below is a panorama of the entire Bing Auditorium with the Stanford Phi Beta Kappa inductees on the lower flat floor and all families in the bleachers.


Here is the program scanned in (includes Ari's name):



As the inductees walk into the auditorium.


I noticed many cameras were watching the ceremony.  I feel like it was over documented and under shared.  :-)   If only they had a professionally done video we could all link to?  Remember to click on the picture below for a more detailed larger version (without the arrows).


Pointing out where Ari was sitting.


The movie below is 10 seconds long and records the moment Ari's name and major are read out loud as she is officially inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.  (This is a duplicated of the one at the top of this web page, just in time order).


A reception after the ceremony had cookies and apple juice and we hung out with Ari (in gown in picture below facing away from camera).


Below is a fuzzy picture (I'm a bad camera man with only an iPhone camera available).


David, Ari, Ramey, and Carole.  At this point everybody else has gone home, so we leave and go to bed.


The next day (Saturday, June 17, 2017), we skipped the "Baccalaureate Celebration in the Stanford Church" and went to the Cantor Museum.  Below is outside Cantor in the Rodin Sculpture Garden.  Ari and Eli with their grandfather Howard Wilson.


Same spot, Ari with her two grandparents on her mother's side (David & Carole).


I'm a little squinty into the sun in this photo, but from left to right: Katherine Chung, Ari Echt-Wilson, Brian Wilson (me - Ari's uncle), and Eli Echt-Wilson (Ari's brother who is two years behind Ari but also attending Stanford).


Katherine, Ari, and Uncle Brian (me).


Ari and her brother Eli in the Stanford Rodin Sculpture Garden.


Ari clowning around with her brother.  After this weekend, Ari will go to work and live in Boston and Eli will stay at Stanford to complete his degree.  They will live far apart for the longest time since Eli was born.


The nuclear family: Randy Wilson (father), Eli, Ari, and Ramey Echt (mother).


I call this: "Kissing Ari Goodbye" as she heads to Boston to start her adult life and career.


This is inside Cantor Museum at Stanford University where Ari spent a lot of her time while at Stanford University.  Ari's friend ??? is seen to the left of her in the picture below.


The Cantor Museum served a brunch for random people who were associated with the museum, so here we are hanging out for a few minutes having a snack.


Hanging out at brunch in Cantor Museum.


The food spread.


There are only about 20 people at brunch here.


After brunch, Ari gave us a "tour" like she would when she worked at Cantor.  It involved choosing three works of art in Cantor and focusing and discussing them.  The picture below is called "Palo Alto Spring" by artist "Thomas Hill".  Here is a link to the painting at Cantor's website.  In the picture, Leland Stanford Jr (Stanford University is a memorial to him) is shown sitting in a chair on the left of the photo with a croquet mallet over his knees and he is holding a hat.  Ari is talking us through all the people and objects in the photo.


The next stop is a VERY famous Eadweard Muybridge set of photos of a running horse - originally to study horse gaits on the Stanford Farm.  In 1872 Leland Stanford (Sr) hired Muybridge to answer a famous question being argued at the time: do all the horses feet leave the ground at the same time (is the horse entirely airborne, even for an instant).  The answer was "yes".  Muybridge created something that was arguably the very first motion picture to show this.  The shots below were created by a horse running down a field with tripwires to trigger the camera.  It is very "outline" and shadows due to the limitations of camera speeds at the time:

Below is a more realistic rendering created by painting in the above shadows of each frame (NOT THE ORIGINAL)


Below Ari is talking us through this, but using a DIFFERENT Eadweard Muybridge photo of a person.  Cantor museum had already cycled out the horse pictures last week.  (The museum has a collection of 44,000 works of art, but can only display a subset of that at one time (plus leaving the art in storage away from light preserves their longevity in many cases).


The third painting we stopped at was a pair of paintings done in different times depicting Jesus Christ and his mother Mary.


Ari talking with her grandfather about pictures of Christ and his mother Mary.


The final stop was Auguste Rodin's statue called "The Thinker".  The Stanford Cantor museum is famous for one of the world's largest collections of Rodin Sculptures.


Back at home for a few hours rest before dinner.


The night of June 17th, 2017 (the night before the actual graduation ceremony) Ramey (Ari's mother) made a meal that we ate outdoors at the hotel Randy and Ramey were staying at called "Hotel Strata" in Mountain View, California.  Randy works for Google, and has tried many hotels in Mountain View and prefers "Hotel Strata" to all others. Below a few of the people attending Ari's graduation we haven't see yet so far in the trip which include (left to right on the couch below): Ramey Echt (Ari's mother), Ari Echt-Wilson (graduating), and Molly Moxness.  Behind them are Randy Wilson (Ari's father holding the pitcher), Carole Echt (in white baseball cap), Eli Echt-Wilson (Ari's brother), Meg and Danny Echt.  Danny is Ramey's brother and is married to Meg.


Two of Ari's grandfathers getting food.


In the back row: Ari, Randy, Debbi Echt (Ramey's sister), Molly Moxness (Debbi's daughter), Danny, Katherine, and Meg.  In the very front of the photo is Corey Miner who is a long time friend of the family from Albuquerque New Mexico (where Ari grew up).


Eating dinner on the patio at Hotel Strata.


In the picture below, Ari's boyfriend Jordan Hank shows up.


In the picture below, Ari is pouring champagne for a toast.


A toast to Ari graduating Stanford!


In the picture below, Katherine is braiding Molly Moxness's hair while talking with Jordan.


Molly notices me taking pictures and smiles shyly at me.  I think this picture is adorable.  :-)


Randy and Ramey created a slideshow in the form of a YouTube video with a music soundtrack.  It shows Ari in various pictures from age 13 - age 22.  Click here to watch it!  Below we are all watching it together for the first time.


The Echt family has a tradition of making "Icebox Cake" and brought one.  Below Ari is cutting it up. 


We got up the next day (June 18, 2017) for the main event!  Below is a picture of the Stanford Stadium on June 18th, 2017.  Stanford has two ceremonies: the big global one (seen below in the stadium) for all students, then in the afternoon each department breaks into much smaller ceremonies to hand out the actual diplomas.  NOTE: it was 100 degrees and no shade and it was brutal.  We only made it half way through the main speech and bailed out to go home to our air conditioning. 


Ari and the friends she sat with (??? maybe her Italian themed "La Casa Italiana" where she lived on Stanford Campus?) wore orange leotards with flames on their heads.  I think this is so they can be found by their family members in the middle of a stadium of people all wearing black gowns.


Their group posing for a photo.  They all had signs saying "It's been LIT Stanford".


Part of our group in the Stanford Stadium.  It is EXTREMELY hot, and Ari's grandfather David Echt is there with his shirt open, which is a "classic" look for David.  :-)  Randy Wilson (Ari's father) in the blue shirt and sunglasses looking on.


Another picture of the stadium, with Howard Wilson's hat in the bottom of the photo (Howard is Ari's grandfather).


A close up photo of the place Ari and friends sat down.


Here is the main 2017 Stanford Graduation Program of Events for this morning.  This is the 126th Commencement of Stanford University on Sunday, June 18, 2017:


I think the picture below is of the first item from the "Program of Events" above: "America The Beautiful" - sung by the Stanford Chamber Chorale.


Another picture slightly zoomed out.


I believe the speaker at the podium below is Reverend Professor Jane Shaw, Dean for Religious Life.


Two podiums, I'm not sure what is going on here. 


Below  is Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne talking.


A picture of the back of Howard Wilson (blue checkered shirt and hat) and the graduation of Ari Echt-Wilson in the Stanford Stadium.


The keynote speaker is Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, a court of California Supreme Court Justice.  He spoke about what it was like as his experience being born in Mexico, then growing up most of his life in the United States.  I found this super interesting because exactly one week earlier I attended my OTHER niece's graduation from Central Washington University and the keynote speaker there spoke about the exact same identical thing (but it was a different guy).


By half way through the keynote speech my whole family had enough scorching sun, and I started worrying about everybody's health.  Many from the audience had left the ridiculously hot stadium for at least SOME shade in the access hallways (see below).  We moved back there ourselves for a while, then we went home for icewater, air conditioning, and lunch.   Below Howard is sitting in some shade.


I take a couple last photos before we bail out of the dangerous heat.


I'm lucky that I live only 4 miles from the Stanford campus, so we could go home and rest up out of the heat.  After spending an hour and a half at home drinking ice water and standing in front of the air conditioner at home and eating some lunch, we left Katherine Chung at home and Howard Wilson and I (Brian) went back out carrying a backpack full of ice and water to the "Department Specific Graduation Ceremony" where Ari would receive her actual diploma.  Luckily they had shade structures setup (see below).


Ari Echt-Wilson graduated in the department of STS (Science, Technology, and Society) at Stanford University.  Below is the program of events for the ceremony on June 18th, 2017.


Finding some seats before the ceremony begins.


 Ari is still sitting amongst us (wearing the black mortar board square hat below).


Since some people were unable to come back to our house in Portola Valley, I brought bags of ice and water for them, which they gulped down.


Ari Echt-Wilson about to receive her Stanford diploma.  I think Ari's face is a little sunburned from the morning's events in the Stanford Stadium.


Ari with her proud father Randy.   Randy got a PhD from Stanford completed in 1991 (26 years ealier, four years before Ari was born) and lived on this same campus about the same amount of time (4 years) that Ari lived on campus.


Randy (Ari's father) talking quietly with Howard (Randy's father) before the ceremony starts.


As the ceremony begins, the crowd is now filled out.


As the students come walking down the aisle, they "dance" instead of walking solemly.  Below is a movie showing the precession, then Ari receiving her diploma in the STS department ceremony.  STS stands for Science, Technology, and Society.  Click here for the very highest quality original.


In the picture below, Stanford Professor John Willinsky addresses the crowd.


In the picture below there are three generations.  From left to right Molly Moxness, then Molly's mother Debbi Echt (Ramey's sister), then Debbi's father David Echt (Ari's grand father).


In the picture below, Stanford graduating student Selina Her (also Selina Her on LinkedIn) addresses the audience.


Some of the students received "Special Honors" so they took the stage and were recognized by Associate Director Kyoko Sato.


Ari was part of a group that received at least TWO distinctions.  This is a repeat movie from above but shows clips of Ari and the distinctions which are that she was accepted to Phi Beta Kappa and also graduated ??? high GPA or Summa Cum Laude ???.  Click here for the very highest quality original.


Ari sees that I am filming from far away with a super zoom camera and sticks her tongue out at me playfully.


A better picture of Ari smiling and enjoying her moment.


I include the picture below to show the "honors students" lined up in front of "Stanford's Hoover Tower" behind them.  The lighting was particularly difficult (extremely bright behind the students), so this is an HDR photo, but that introduced blur into the picture so their faces are kind of messed up.  Oh well, it was very pretty and scenic if you were there, even if it was almost impossible to take a photo of it.


After the ceremony, Ari had to find us.


After the ceremony, a picture of the venue trying to capture the scenic Hoover Tower behind the stage.


The proud family looking at the certificate that cost somewhere around $250,000 to obtain.  :-)


Ari shows her grandfather (Howard Wilson) her Stanford diploma.  Howard himself has a PhD (University of Illinois) and was a Professor of Education at Oregon State University for 30 years.  Howard has attended TWO of his grand daughter's graduation ceremonies within the same week even though travelling is difficult for him.  So this is a big deal.


Ari presenting her certificate.


Ari talking with her grandfather as the family gathers.


An attempt at pictures with the difficult lighting of the Hoover Tower in the background.  :-)


Ari and her mother Ramey.


From left to right: Randy Wilson (Ari's father), Ari Echt-Wilson (the new graduate), Ramey Echt (Ari's mother), and Eli Echt-Wilson (Ari's brother who ALSO attends Stanford but won't graduate for two more years).


A picture of Ari and Brian Wilson (Ari's Uncle, Randy is my brother).  My brother Randy and I both got advanced degrees from Stanford and overlapped in time on campus, much like Ari and her brother Eli overlapped.


Ari talking with one of her major professors ??? name ???.


Ari and Professor ??? posing for pictures together.


WHEW!!  Done with all the official stuff and the horrible heat, everybody returned to Uncle Brian and Katherine's house in Portola Valley, California (about 4 miles from Stanford) to take a dip in the pool and enjoy the air conditioning and eat some snacks for dinner.  Below everybody is just glad to be sitting down.


Ramey and Corey Miner relaxing.  Randy talks with Katherine Chung (long blue green dress in the background).


Brian and Katherine picked up some finger food for everybody.  The sterno hot plate item is "Truffle Macaroni and Cheese" from the Palo Alto restaurant Lemonade.  Ari's mother told us it was one of her favorites.  The tea sandwiches and fruit and vegetables are from a deli and market a few hundred yards from our house called Robert's Market.


Ari, Molly (her cousin), Ramey, and Randy all eating food and relaxing.


From left to right in the picture below: Debbi Echt (Ari's aunt, Ramey's sister) sitting on the doggy bed, Katherine Chung (blue green dress), Ari Echt-Wilson, a couple people obscured, then Randy Wilson in blue shirt on the far right.


Corey Minor (no shirt) and Eli Echt-Wilson (Ari's brother) pulling out some drinks from ice.


The whole day was BRUTALLY hot, and I don't think our swimming pool has ever seen this many people swim at once.  :-)


Hanging out in the pool to cool down.


From left to right: Katherine Chung, David Echt, Eric Hawkes, and Howard Wilson.  Eric grew up in the same town as Randy (Ari's father) and knows Howard and is catching up.  Among other connections, Eric's father (Stephen James Hawkes) was a professor at Oregon State University at the same time as Howard was a professor there.


From left to right: Debbi Echt, Katherine Chung (with feet in the pool), Molly Moxness, Ari Echt-Wilson, Ramey Echt, Carole Echt, David Echt (no shirt), Eric Hawkes, and Howard Wilson (with cane).


I started up a "bubble maker" that blew bubbles over the pool.  I don't have many decent pictures of this, but you can see some of the bubbles in the picture below.


Everybody relaxing around the pool as the sun goes down.


Ari's boyfriend Jordan Hank shows up.


And the next day, I take my father Howard Wilson to the airport to fly home to Corvallis Oregon.  This is the last time I saw him in San Francisco Airport checking into Southwest.  He made it home safe.


That's it!

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