Day of Faith: Personal Quests for a Purpose – 3. Rachel Esplin from Harvard Hillel on Vimeo.

This is a video interview of Rachel about her religious beliefs. The interviewer, Sally Quinn, a famous journalist for the Washington Post, was invited to Harvard to interview five students from varied faiths.

Another Big Day for Rachel – December 10, 2009
Speaking at her Harvard Graduation

I was able to fly to Boston to hear my daughter, Rachel, speak at Harvard’s mid-year graduation. It was an awesome, once-in-a-lifetime experience. She did a great job, and I loved being there and was so glad I did not miss it. She is finished with her undergraduate degree and feeling quite a relief, since she just completed her 150-page senior thesis, which was about trade relations with China. Harvard gave her a generous grant to spend a month in China to research the topic last August. That is why she and her new husband, Scott, went there after honeymooning in Thailand. It was a fun first few months for the newlyweds.

While I was in Boston for the graduation, I had a little time to take some photos, of course, and I also met several of Rachel’s friends at the graduation. One of the student officers told me he was involved in the selection of the two student speakers and he told me they had a list of the top students, then someone nominated her to speak. After that she wrote an essay about what she would speak about, if chosen. He said they had many to choose from, but the committee loved hers. She spoke about how everyone at Harvard has their own story to tell, and she organized it into three paradoxes with the whole Harvard experience.

The large commencement for the year is in the Spring, and all the mid-year grads are invited back to walk then. Rachel is in the top few percent of her class, so she will participate in the Phi Delta Kappa (high honors) robing ceremony at that time, which is supposed to be very cool. We will all go back again to celebrate one more time, but as far as her course work, she is finished. Yahoo! Now they are moving to D.C. where Scott will finish his degree at Georgetown. Rachel is pursuing some possible offers and plans to work while he studies there.

Another highlight of my trip was finally getting to meet my long-lost cousin, Karen, who has taken Rachel under her wing, since she arrived at Harvard. Karen and her husband are Harvard alums, living near NYC now, but they had Rachel come stay with them on several occasions during holiday times and breaks. Karen has been such a wonderful support and friend to Rachel. I was always be grateful to her. She has been so hospitable and loving and this time together was no exception. She came to the graduation and then took us out to a nice dinner. It was an experience I will always cherish. Thank you, Karen. Also, Scott was a gentlemen and escorted me both ways all the way to the airport to and from their apartment. He was so helpful and fun. What a great time we had. 🙂

Congratulations, Rachel, and I love you!