This morning’s December Commencement marked the end of a long journey and the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of nearly 2,000 UNC Greensboro students.
Whether that new chapter in life means graduate school, new careers, travel, or a well-deserved break, UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. reminded graduates to honor their shared responsibility to make a mark on the world.
“I know this journey has not been easy. In fact, anything worth having is never easy,” Gilliam said. “But we know that you will go into the world with vision, with leadership, with a mission to effect change and make this a better world. A better world rests on you. You’re not students anymore, and you have to take this responsibility seriously, but you’re prepared.”
Greensboro city councilman, attorney, and UNCG alumnus Justin Outling spoke about the power of making choices. He recalled his father, who made the choice to become a garbage collector to support his family after being laid off from a factory job. Outling said that every choice has an impact, no matter how small it may seem.
“Nothing happens without choices being made,” Outling said. “I know with all certainty that but for my father’s choice not to give into disappointment, not to give into the sudden great loss, the sore back and swollen feet, I wouldn’t be here today. Think about the choices that you’ve made that seemed small, but were, in fact, monumental. After today, you’re officially alumni. You’re going to have more choices to make. Make the most of them.”
The University conferred approximately 1,550 bachelor’s degrees, 330 master’s degrees, 112 doctoral degrees, and two specialist in education degrees. Of the degrees awarded, 104 were conferred to international students. These figures represent students who received degrees in August as well as those who completed their degrees in December.
Among those who graduated today are the first Piedmont Community College RN-BSN Nursing cohort, the first graduates in UNCG’s new Bachelor of Science in Integrated Professional Studies (BIPS) online program, and the first graduates from the UNCG McNair Scholars Program.
Congratulations, Class of 2018!
Story by Victor Ayala, University Communications
Photography by Jiyoung Park, University Communications