Lately, I've made frequent mention of my mantle of Ruler Lady, so I thought I'd add two of my favorite stories about thesis submission:
When Nina Moreno, a doctoral student in the Spanish Department, came to my office in 2007 to deposit her dissertation, she had her boyfriend in tow with a camera. She asked if he could take pictures of the submission process at her Mom's request. "Sure," I agreed, "I'll try to look very stern." After she saw the photos, including the one above, my colleague Ellen remarked that I couldn't look mean if I tried!
Last year, a student named Krissa Gibby was fulfilling her last requirement for her Ph.D. by depositing her dissertation. She was in the Tumor Biology program, so the title was very scientific: "Effects of fibroblast growth factor binding protein in chick embryonic development and murine mammary development." I looked it over and then - because I happen to know that murine refers to mice - I took a leap of faith. "Krissa, you look like you have a sense of humor, so let me just ask you... Is your dissertation about mouse boobs?!?" "Yes," she said with a grin, "I've been studying them for years now." We both burst into laughter!