June 14, 2013

Dad-grad to cross stage with son

By Matt Terry

Gabe Del Bello surveyed the technology in use by the students next to him, including tablets and laptops, looked at his paper and pen and decided things had definitely changed since he was last in school.

Del Bello had returned to McMaster after more than 25 years to complete the one course he needed to secure his political science degree.

He had abandoned his academic pursuits early after getting in to the electronics business to support his family after his mother’s death in the mid-eighties.
But as his son, Johnny, and daughter, Alex, prepared for their last semester at McMaster, he was struck with the idea of finally finishing his studies – and being able to graduate alongside his children.

“I thought, it would be pretty cool to graduate with my kids 30 years after I actually started school,” he says. “So I decided to go back.”
Del Bello’s anthropology class included Alex – one of the laptop-users – who he sat with throughout the semester.

“It was a culture shock at first. The technology is so much more advanced than when I was young and going to school here. But it was a great experience, and so much fun.”

In addition to taking a course with his daughter, Del Bello will cross the convocation stage directly in front of his son, also a social sciences graduand.
Alex’s humanities convocation was earlier in the week.

The Faculty of Social Sciences will hold its convocation June 14 at Hamilton Place. The ceremony will see nearly 900 students earn their degrees.
Honorary degrees will also be conferred upon social movements and electoral politics scholar Frances Fox Piven and former McMaster senior leader John Paul Evans.