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‘Dear Mom and Dad’

May 16, 2019

Commencement 2019: This is one in a series of stories marking the 169th Commencement ceremonies of the University of Rochester.

Each year, the Office of Parent and Family Relations invites seniors to submit a brief entry to honor their parents and families. The messages will be highlighted in the May issue of the Parents Buzz e-newsletter and at A small sampling is included here.

graduate stands with family members
Dear Mom and Nana,

Another four years have come and gone, and it is safe to say that I would not have made it through without you two. Thank you for always loving and supporting me. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for you.

Love always,

Dear Mama & Dad,

Thank you for everything. From all the late night calls in boarding school to the small gifts and support in college. You helped me become the person I am today and I am so lucky to be your daughter. I love you both very much and I can’t wait to show you how far I’m going to go!


Dear Mom and Dad,

I feel so honored and blessed to have you as my parents and want to express my gratitude for your care and support over the years. Thank you for instilling me with a strong passion for learning and for doing everything possible to put me on the path to greatness. I will never forget the important values you have passed down to me. Words cannot describe how important you are to me. I love you forever and always!


selfie of family

Dear Mama and Papa,

Thank you for always supporting me and for teaching me how to persist through adversity; I am continuously inspired by your strength, love, and intellect. I will always strive to make you proud and hope to one day be as influential as you.

Love you forever,

childhood photos of a graduate with her parents

graduate posing with her parentsDear Mom & Dad,

I want to thank you. Thank you for believing in me even when I didn’t. Thank you for supporting me while I tried to figure out what I want. And thank you for all the unsolicited advice. I do listen sometimes. Whatever I am today it is because of you two and I’m proud of who that is.

Colleen Dunlea

April Halliday,

You did it. You raised two sons as a single mother. You worked tirelessly to ensure that we never went without. You constantly pushed me to be the best person I could possibly be, and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.

Thank you Mom for everything. I love you.

Austin Halliday

Dear Ma and Abbu,

I am grateful to God for all of you. Ma: Thank you for sacrificing so much for me and always being there to give me advice. Abbu: Thank you for teaching me everything I know and giving me the confidence to do anything. Fariha: Thank you for always being there to make me smile.


family selfie

Dear Mom & Dad,

My time away from home is coming to an end. I wanted to use this opportunity to express my gratitude for all you’ve done for me in the past 4 years. Whether it be offering emotional, financial or physical support you have always been ready and willing. Thank You!


family posing at a baseball game


Dear Mom and Dad,

From a child to an adult,
From China to the U.S.
Thanks for supporting me for this long journey!

Chunyi Sun

Dear Grandmother and dad,

Thank you so much for helping me get through this process.  All the times you helped me pay my school bill or just let me rant about how much I hated this place and the weather.  Thank you for believing in me.

Cristal Hernandez

graduate with his arm around his momDear Mom,

Thank you endlessly. For being my role model, for being an amazing single parent, for pushing me to be better, for picking me up at practice, for coming to the games, for sending me school supplies, for everything. I’m so honored, relieved, and excited to be done with this chapter. We made it.

Aaron L. Smith


Category: Campus Life