“Doctoral education serves as the incubator for growing the commitment, passion, and vision of many of the individuals tasked with providing leadership at the local and global level as we navigate an ever-changing, complex, and complicated world,” Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. said in his remarks to the graduates.
The ceremony, a more intimate predecessor to the commencement exercises held on Friday for bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates, recognized scholars in four fields of achievement: doctor of education, doctor of musical arts, doctor of nursing practice, and doctor of philosophy.
Dr. Melanie Spence addressed the graduates, encouraging them to keep an open mind.
“Life has a way of throwing us curve balls,” said Spence, who is associate dean of undergraduate education and professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Dallas. “If that happens, it’s important to be open to new opportunities.”
Develop relationships that support collaboration, she added, and continue to seek out mentors.
Each candidate was hooded by their committee chair and crossed the stage with pride, often to a backdrop of whistles and applause from family and friends.
In his final charge to the graduates who have achieved the highest degree in academics, Gilliam said:
“We will look to you – our newest doctors – to be the guardians of higher education, of the critical importance of doctoral education, and of the indisputable role that the expertise, experience, and dedication that doctoral education conveys in furthering the betterment of society for future generations.
“Congratulations, doctors. It’s my great pleasure to welcome you to the family.”
By Elizabeth L. Harrison
Photography by Martin W. Kane