A College Graduation Letter

This is an edited version of the letter I gave my daughter for her college graduation one year ago. – Jack


You are one of the true joys of my life. You have grown from a young girl to a young adult with whom I enjoy conversing. I am extremely proud of you in so many ways. Though ashamed I could not pay your way through college and you are saddled with debt, that shame is overshadowed by how proud I am of how you have worked your way through school and proven to be a responsible student and employee. As you graduate and finish Georgia State University I am swollen with pride.

A gift for Amber just after I read this letter to her.

It hasn’t been an easy road for you. While others had their way paid by family, grants or scholarships, you walked a tougher road by working your way through school. When others were playing and hanging out with friends, you were heading off to work. You lacked sleep. You had fewer hours to study and prepare for class than many of your friends. Because of your work schedule, you walked lonely paths through Centennial Park and the streets of Atlanta to your dorm many nights ….and wandered through deserted parking decks trying to find your car! You endured ungrateful diners and mangers who sought to take advantage of you. Yet, you were dependable and responsible. When one job would end you would find a way to get a new one. Your determination and drive is remarkable.

While a lot of people will remember the night a tornado hit the Georgia Dome during the SEC Basketball Tournament I will always remember the frantic phone call from our daughter crying in the restaurant kitchen after getting caught in the high winds on the restaurant patio and barely making it back safely inside. We were glad you were safe. There were other calls. A lunch-time shooting across the street; a light pole falling and hitting your car; Deranged people calling out to the snow-bunny walking down the sidewalk; Professors intent on calling out the conservative token white girl in the class. With Amber there was always a “story.”

You are blessed with a well-rounded personality. Your thoughtfulness soars. You’ve shown yourself to be a leader, having taken key roles in Phi Mu. You’ve won awards with the sorority and have been commended by your supervisors. You easily make friends. You also have the envious trait of being able to relate and interact with almost anyone in any situation—one of your truest strengths.

Switch and Coca Cola are the big winners. I know you will do well with them and anywhere you may go. They, obviously, are seeing what I have always seen in you – a remarkable young lady with leadership ability, thoughtful kindness, a passionate drive and the skills to interact with anyone.

My prayer is that God will direct your steps and that Christ will dwell in your heart through faith. I pray that you, being grounded and rooted in love, will comprehend the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, (Ephesians 3).

Finally, you have shown yourself to be independent. You moved out of the house when you left for college, never to return. Looking back, that independence was something that revealed itself as early as you were able to recognize you were being placed in a car seat. Yet, regardless of that independence and wherever you may live, you are our daughter and we will always be your home.

Forever loving our Ambee,


See also Middle School Graduation Letter


Jack Bruce  lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and four children.

To forward this blog simply copy and paste the following link into an email:  http://wp.me/pBhtB-ag

You may follow Jack on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jackwbruce


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