As the fall 2019 UNC Greensboro Spartan graduates turned their tassels in Greensboro Coliseum today, they also turned a new page in their life journeys.
UNCG conferred approximately 1,490 bachelor’s degrees, 338 master’s degrees, 126 doctoral degrees, and three specialist in education degrees. Of the degrees awarded, 74 were conferred to international students.
The most technologically savvy generation of Spartans to graduate so far will enter a world that is moving and changing quickly, and the challenges and opportunities our graduates face are vast – both locally and globally.
As guest speakers shared their collective wisdom, a common thread became apparent: We should be kind to ourselves and to one another – and support each other in our life journeys.
Greensboro mayor Nancy Vaughan encouraged graduates to resist the pitfalls of social media and to put more time and effort into caring for and liking one another – and that includes learning to like themselves.
“Kindness has many benefits, including increased happiness and a healthy heart, and it benefits the giver more than the receiver. It slows down the aging process and improves relationships and connections, which indirectly boosts your health.”
“My advice to you is: Learn to love your life,” said Vaughan. “That’s a lot harder than it sounds. Take the pressure off yourself and learn to take a deep breath every day. Each day is a new beginning.”
Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., reminded graduating Spartans that they should draw upon the support of their fellow Spartan alumni as they find their way after leaving UNCG.
“You join a distinguished group of alumni,” Gilliam said. “And they are ready to support and encourage you, and engage you as you find your own legacy. And I want to remind you that you ought not to forget the power of this network of alumni. There are 35,000 alumni within 30 miles of where we’re sitting right here today.”
Dr. Anthony Chow, associate professor of Library and Information Science, talked about what he referred to as the Platinum Rule. “Treat others as they wish to be treated, not as you wish to be treated.”
Chow continued, “As you leave us today on your new journey, despite all the expectations, stereotypes, and sage advice we all want to give you about what you should do or who should become, be more of who you are meant to be. Find your passion and set your own goals that make sense to you. Help others in your life, and the world around them will be a better place.”
Student speaker Allison Cruise, a new graduate from the Master of Library and Information Science program, echoed these sentiments. “Every day you have the capacity to do a little good. That could be letting someone know you are listening when they need to feel they’re being heard. It could be going out of your way to be a little kinder to everyone you meet. It could just be offering a smile to a stranger. If you look at how many of us are here today, you can see that if we all do a little good each day, we can have a big impact together.”
Congratulations to our graduating Spartans!
Story by Matthew Bryant, University Communications
Videography by Grant Evan Gilliard, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications