It's Official

We are very proud to present our graduate...

Irving R. Phillips, III (Phil)
Bachelor of Science
Computer Engineering
Magna Cum Laude
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo
Spring 2009

After the main ceremony, we headed to the private reception for the CPE (Computer Engineering) graduates. It was a brief private ceremony as there were only 45 Computer Engineering graduates.

We had time to take a family photo in between the two ceremonies. (photo taken by Krystal)

Photo with Phil's Senior Advisor, Dr. Liddecoat.

Our intimate family celebration at the Dolphin Bay's Lido Restaurant

This is a very momentous day for our family.

Congratulations Phil!

Last Day of School

Isabella - Straight Honor Roll and Perfect Attendance Award
Ian - Best Independent Study Student Award

Announcing....Phil's Graduation

It seems like it wasn't too long ago when we celebrated Phil's highschool graduation back in 2005. Some of you joined in our celebration party at the Mariott Hotel in Newark, CA. I remembered crying while reading a letter I wrote for him inspired by the song "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack.

And boy, dance he the tune of academic excellence.

After four years of hard work, we are very proud to announce his graduation from Cal Poly as Magna Cum Laude in Computer Engineering.

Photo courtesy of Papelle Photographie

There is a good reason they call these ceremonies "commencement exercises."
Graduation is not the end; it's the beginning. ~Orrin Hatch

This is another milestone for our family; one that indeed marks the beginning of yet another chapter. Thank you for being a part of our life. We are very proud of our son, Phil, for his extraordinary achievements.

News highlights on Phil since our Christmas newsletter:

  • Tour/interview at The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) last December resulting in a formal job offer. His visit to China Lake was arranged and paid for by NAWCWD.

  • Travel to Malta last spring break as part of Cal Poly’s ICEX Team (International Computer Engineering Exchange program). The program is called Malta Cistern Mapping Project. This project was recently featured on a local news station.

  • Final senior project for ViaSat, a satellite communications company.

  • Currently doing part-time, paid, remote work for Oracle.

  • Contemplating on pursuing his Masters.

Phil knew what he wanted from the beginning: he has always had that "sense of wonder" or fascination with computers and robotics (maybe it's the computer flowchart mobile his dad made for him when he was a baby. I was going to say it's from my genes but everyone knows Calculus makes my head spin and smoke:).

His strong interest with computers continued through highschool. He earned a Department Award in Computer Science and Student of the Year award in Computer Programming. He was thrilled when he was accepted at Cal Poly. He knew the moment we toured the campus that it was the school for him. It was our first and last college campus tour for him.

Cal Poly is indeed a perfect fit for him apparent in his continued growth not only in academics but in his character as a whole. The best attributes of Phil are his strong faith and positive outlook. He is a great steward of his blessings. It is evident in the way he cultivates his God-given talents through his diligence, perseverance and constientious efforts. He does his best, and then he leaves the rest to God. I have witnessed this blessed attitude countless times. One recent example I can remember is when he applied for the Malta ICEX program.

Originally, the program can only fund 5 students. He was initially selected as an alternate. I knew how much he wanted to travel to Malta, yet I did not see a hint of disappointment. He felt honored to be selected as an alternate and be able to contribute to the program. For Phil, all he can do is do his best; and the rest is not up to him but HIM who is ultimately in control. He was happy to be part of the technical training in preparation for the trip. They must have seen his wonderful work ethics and this positive outlook I talk about. As it turned out, the program was able to fund 6 students. Moreover, he gained valuable mentorship and sponsorship from the program's Technical Director, Dr. Chris Clark, who recommended him for an Outstanding Graduating Senior award and is encouraging him to pursue his graduate studies.

If my mantra is "too blessed to be stressed", Phil's is "carpe diem", which means sieze the day. To him every day is a blessing and therefore time should not be wasted. I say, he is a great blessing....all that he is....and we are truly grateful.

He has several options/choices in front of him. We will keep you posted of his future plans. Again, we thank you for all your prayers and support and for being a great part of our life.