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VIDEO: See 50 Seconds from UC's Record-Setting Commencement Ceremonies

Two days of Commencement celebrations and ceremonies capped UC's spring term, where 6,381 degrees were awarded to 6,272 students. This was the highest number the university has ever seen for a class of spring-term graduates, and the crowds were at capacity for the undergraduate ceremonies.

Date: 4/26/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Dottie Stover

UC ingot   The spring 2014 Commencement at the University of Cincinnati was one for the record books.

The university awarded 6,381 degrees to 6,272 students (some students earn more than one degree) in undergraduate ceremonies held Saturday, April 26, and ceremonies for graduate students held Friday, April 25.

Those numbers represent the largest spring-term graduating class and Commencement ceremonies in UC’s history.

In the last several years, rising enrollment and rising retention are a part of rising graduation rates at UC. For instance, in fall 2013, UC’s total enrollment stood at a record-setting 42,656, capping several years where enrollment stood above 40,000. In addition, student retention has been steadily climbing at UC. For instance, first- to-second-year retention rates have increased from 77 percent to 85 percent over the last 10 years. Over that same period, graduation rates increased nearly 16 percent. Other factors in larger graduations include more distance-learning options on the graduate level as well as UC's conversion to the semester system in 2012.

UC President Santa J. Ono led today’s ceremonies and delivered remarks, including encouraging graduates to remember: “There are seldom shortcuts. You cannot expect instant success. You must be persistent and patient. And always know that you have proven that you possess the qualities that you will need to be successful.”

Also addressing students in today’s capacity crowds at ceremonies for undergraduates was UC alumna Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, Botswana’s ambassador to the United States. In her remarks, Seretse told the UC grads that "by the powers vested in me by the president of the Republic of Botswana, I appoint all of you Botswana ambassadors."

She also encouraged the UC grads to “draw on your education and experiences here at the University of Cincinnati to make a difference for humanity. After all, if you don’t change the world, the world will change you.”
UC's construction management grads wore hard hats for their mortar boards.
UC construction management grads wore hard hats for their mortar boards.

She added that the grads should “…choose to make life your music and sing it. Where there is no composer, be the composer. Where there are no music instruments, be the instruments. Where there is no choir, be the choir. Where there is no conductor, be the conductor. Where there is no audience, be the audience.”

At this year’s Commencement ceremonies, those receiving honorary degrees were Kroger Board of Directors Chairman Dave Dillon and UC alumnus and top trial lawyer Billy Martin of Washington, D.C.
  • SEE MORE about the spring 2014 record-setting Commencement.
  • SEE THE STATS related to the record-setting Commencement.
  • MEET some of the 2014 grads and read their first-person accounts.
  • MEET the undergraduate Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence winners.