Some of them probably forgot their umbrella. Then again, maybe some of them never bothered to carry one all through college. But many might now consider that investment, after heavy downpours soaked grads in their caps and gowns as they were entering Fifth Third Arena for the University of Cincinnati’s morning All-University Commencement Ceremony.
Despite the grand opening of the heavens – which occurred immediately before and after the morning ceremony – one graduate in particular found Cincinnati a welcome sight. Melissa Roberts, who was graduating from the College of Allied Health Sciences, drove here all the way from Texas with her two young children in tow. She was earning her degree via distance learning, but traveled all the way from the Lone Star State to celebrate her accomplishment with her fellow graduates.
The crowds on the floor – reflecting UC’s highest number of graduates in 20 years – brought in crowds that packed Fifth Third Arena, after 4,660 students applied for graduation this spring.
|UC President Gregory H. Williams|
“There’s a lot to celebrate in a short space of time,” President Williams continued. “But outranking all of this great news, no matter what else happens on our campus each year, is the joy of our Commencement weekend.”
“As new graduates, you are now equipped with education, the best tool to make change, not only for yourselves, but for our world,” said President Williams.
Jordan Lee Brewer of San Antonio, Texas – earning a bachelor of business administration from the Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS Program in the UC College of Business – delivered the university oration for the Saturday morning All-University Commencement Ceremony. He recalled a professor who emphasized being prepared to live in a “knowledge economy.”
“As we leave here, the world judges us by the standard of our mind,” he said, adding that through future successes and failures, the learning never ends.
Carver Douglas Ealy Jr. of Louisville, Ky., delivered the university oration for the Saturday afternoon ceremony. “You have impact,” said Ealy, who is graduating with his bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communication from the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S). “The experiences that define you and your state of mind, you have impact – in your will not only to succeed, but to excel in everything that you take on in any given situation, will be your mark on the world. I’d say we’ve got a pretty good start. We’re Bearcats!”
“The momentous changes I have observed in this country over the span of my life impose upon me an obligation to offer you more than the platitudinous exhortation often associated with occasions such as this,” he told the graduates. “I must do more. The challenges confronting you are too profound for me to do less.”
Jones remarked on what he called a growing national mood of selfishness arising from a misunderstanding of the role of government. “This misunderstanding undercuts our ability to effectively deal with the specific social and economic maladies that beset our country.”
He also told the graduates that solutions to problems such as the massive oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico “will not be found in a mood of selfishness, parochialism and States Rights. Rather, the answer lies with you.”
Jones encouraged graduates to abandon the mood of selfishness gripping the nation. “It is only by freeing ourselves, or as President Lincoln said, ‘disenthralling ourselves,’ that we as a nation will be able to engage in the kind of civil discourse that will lead to rational solutions to problems, including those of education, incarcerations, urban decay, health and housing.”
The slide show features highlights from all of the ceremonies.