Sunday, April 25, 2010
Hailey Hammon Keller: BYU Graduate 2010
Friday was Hailey’s graduation from Brigham Young University-Provo (BYU). What a thrill it was to watch her walk across the age with her husband Joseph! Although she finished her coursework in December, she decided to wait and walk with Joseph in April.
For parents, having one graduate from college is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the child’s life as we see and remember it. Hailey has truly been a wonderful daughter. She did extremely well in high school, participating in tennis (state all three years), speech and drama (state all three years), and several plays, including a play at Miles Community College. Her switch from speech to “mime” was unforeseen and unpredictable, but she excelled in it, winning second place in the state tournament her senior year with her now famous “bouncing ball” routine.
Like Anna Rose, Hailey graduated from high school with having completed one year’s worth of college credits. While she wanted to trundle off to the university early, Hailey came with us to Cheyenne and enrolled in the Mass Media program at Laramie County Community College. She did well at the College and in her chosen field. Her phenomenal writing skills propelled her toward writing for the national-award winning College newspaper Wingspan. As a result, she ultimately received the “Journalist of the Year” Award, which was a fitting bestowal, particularly to those of us who know Hailey and her delightful style of writing.
Having graduated from Laramie County Community College, she was accepted at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo as a transfer student and was ultimately accepted in the Communications Department where she focused on the Public Relations program. During an interview for a job on BYU’s campus, the interviewer said that Hailey’s portfolio from the Mass Media program was “one of the best” he had ever seen.
Hailey’s engaging personality has always been one of her best assets. She makes friends easily, and her smile and “delicious” laugh is intoxicating. One of her other assets is that she makes people feel comfortable when they are around her. Plus, she is a leader—always has been and always will be.
While we were here in Provo, Hailey and I went on a “daddy-daughter” date to the movie Sherlock Holmes. It was fun to be with her. When she was younger, we always went on daddy-daughter dates. She and Anna Rose would alternate weeks. We either went to the museum or to a movie or to ice cream. It was always their pick as to where we would go. When I went to visit my parents in Quartzsite, Arizona, when they play snowbirds, I would either take one of the girls or the whole family. We enjoyed being together, taking walks out in the desert, negotiating for some trinket in Mexico, sauntering through acres and acres of flea markets in Quartzsite, or eating date shakes on one of the date farms around Yuma.
I could write piles and piles of stuff about Hailey and why I am proud of her. But the number one reason is that I love her, and I enjoy being her father and watching her grow and develop. It seems that her teenage years zipped by so rapidly. But when I think about all of things that she did during those times, I have to wonder when she found time to complete them all.
Hailey, congratulations! At 21, you are a college and university graduate are married to a great young man. Together you will continue to grow and develop even more talents. I know you expect to do that, I know that your Mother and I expect that, and I know that Heavenly Father expects you to rise to your birthright and become the Queen you are destined to become.
I love you tons and tons.