On Friday, graduate Janelle Strawsburg sat around her empty apartment with her parents. The longtime Dodgers fan told her dad how much she wanted to wear a Dodgers hat to graduation in honor of commencement speaker Vin Scully.
Her dad shook his head and laughed, not knowing that not only would her daughter, but the entire graduating class, be sporting the hats. In fact, no one — not even the graduates — knew the day before the ceremony.
Resting underneath each of the graduates’ seats on the big day, however, was a Dodger hat waiting to be worn when Scully was introduced.
“We didn’t know they were going to do that until right before the ceremony,” Strawsburg said.
It resulted in a picturesque sea of blue to honor the infamous Dodgers broadcasting man as 650 students received undergraduate degrees under the warm sun Saturday at Alumni Park.
“It was just a really surreal experience,” said senior Richard Case, who described Scully as a “funny” speaker and laughed at the thought of the stories told by the “Voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers.”
The famed sportscaster, who was introduced by Dodgers president Jamie McCourt, received an honorary doctorate. Scully repeatedly reminded the Seaver class of 2008 that life may throw curveballs every now and then, but every encounter is “very difficult, but possible.”
Also honored at the ceremony was 1987 Seaver graduate Leslie Landon Matthews, who was named as a Distinguished Alumnus for her work as a clinical psychologist, grief counselor and author.