A Graduation Celebration

In the winter of 1969 I dropped out of the University of Washington to join The Brothers Four. In the Spring of 2019 I completed my studies and got my degree from the UW. The Graduation Celebration was truly a "full circle" event. It included singing again with the guys I sang with in college as well as Michael Kirkland, the fellow I replaced in The Brothers Four all those years ago. It was also a chance for me to take a moment and wonder what those in my generation will be leaving for those who are coming after.

  • Graduation Celebration Part One - Mountains, Metaphors, & Un-walked Miles

    50 years after dropping out of college to become a member of the folk group, The Brothers Four, I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Department of Communications at the University of Washington. I felt the occasion needed to be duly celebrated. Because I was going to be touring with The Brothers Four at the time of the formal UW graduation, I chose to mark the moment in front of family and friends with songs, stories, and special guests.
    Graduation Celebration ~ Songs & Stories From Home Episode 9 ~ Mark Pearson Music
  • Graduation Celebration Part Two - Shame as a doorway to grace

    This Podcast talks about how and why I went back to college to do the work to obtain a degree. My family story is similar to many.  My grandfather came to America so his children could have an opportunity at a better life. His children and/or their spouses became doctors, dentists, professors, and engineers.
    Graduation Celebration - Shame as a doorway to grace ~ Songs & Stories From Home Episode 10 ~ Mark Pearson Music
  • Graduation Celebration Part Three - The Importance of Faith

    In this section I talk about discovering the importance of faith - though not necessarily religious faith - while preparing to become part of a Civil Rights Pilgrimage in 2014.
    Graduation Celebration Part Three - The Importance of Faith - Songs & Stories From Home Episode 11
  • Graduation Celebration Part Four - We Are Not Alone

    One of the things that has become clearer to me over the years is that – like it or not, know it or not – we are not alone. We are all in this together. We are somehow connected to each other and all living things – often in ways that we may not be aware of and cannot easily define or explain.
    Graduation Celebration Part Four - We Are Not Alone ~ Songs & Stories From Home Episode 12 ~ Mark Pearson Music
  • Graduation Celebration Part Five - On The Shoulders of Giants

    This section further illustrates the idea that we are all in this together, and that we are all somehow connected. It also touches on the idea that those who came before us can both haunt us as ghosts or help show us the way as guides or guardians.
    Graduation Celebration Part Five - On The Shoulders of Giants ~ Songs & Stories From Home Episode 13 ~ Mark Pearson Music
  • Graduation Celebration Part Six - Awake in Someone’s Garden

    We are a culture that values action and doing. Too often we define or measure ourselves by things we accomplish and how those things “stack up” against others.
    Graduation Celebration Part Six - Awake in Someone’s Garden ~ Songs & Stories From Home Episode 14 ~ Mark Pearson Music
  • Graduation Celebration Part Seven - What We Leave Behind

    In this section I’m getting ready to receive my college degree 50 years after I might have graduated. I describe issues we were confronting half a century ago that we continue to deal with to this day.
    Graduation Celebration Part Seven - What We Leave Behind ~ Songs & Stories From Home Episode 15 ~ Mark Pearson Music
  • Graduation Celebration Part Eight - Once We Cross That Bridge

    Threshold moments are important to the human experience. They can be sacred or secular. We celebrate births and deaths. There are marriage rituals. Before their first birthdays my two grandsons were welcomed into their church with ceremonies involving baptism, confirmation, and communion.
    Graduation Celebration Part Eight - Once We Cross That Bridge ~ Songs & Stories From Home Episode 16 ~ Mark Pearson Music
  • Graduation Celebration Part Nine - The Graduation Ceremony

    After lots of singing and talking we arrive at the moment of receiving my diploma. It was my good fortune and delight to be presented the degree by two of my favorite people, Jody Nyquist and David Domke.
    Graduation Celebration Part Nine - The Graduation Ceremony ~ Songs & Stories From Home Episode 17 ~ Mark Pearson Music
  • Graduation Celebration Part Ten - Let Love Go Forward

    At its best among the gifts that higher learning affords us is the time and the chance – in a safe and challenging environment – to grapple with essential existential questions: who are we – why are we here – what are we meant to do with our lives-
    Graduation Celebration Part Ten - Let Love Go Forward ~ Songs & Stories From Home Episode 18 ~ Mark Pearson Music