UC Commencement Message: Meet Challenges, Accept Change and Reflect on This Accomplishment
The University of Cincinnati celebrated its 188th Commencement June 9 in two ceremonies in Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center. UC President Nancy L. Zimpher says the more than 4,000 degree-seeking graduates came to UC from across the United States from Oceanside, Calif. and Portland, Maine and as far away as Bulgaria and Ethiopia.
President Zimpher also remarked that the Class of 2007 had more international experience than any of their predecessors. In the past two years, the number of UC students traveling abroad has more than doubled, Zimpher said. Among the students traveling the world are Rachel Robitz, who helped to organize a trip to Kenya for UCs Engineers without Borders to help address issues of safe water supplies.
A different experience took
to Iraq, Zimpher continued. Just six months after he started as a freshman at UC, during his 13-month assignment, he was wounded in the shoulder with shrapnel, earning two Army Commendation medals and the Purple Heart. Today, Nicholas Browning earns his bachelors degree in history, Zimpher said to thundering applause.
Dominic Mr. Bearcat Berardi of Wintersville, Ohio, a graduate of the College of Business, delivered the university oration for the morning ceremony. He thanked the teachers, administrators, staff and family members who joined in the celebration of the graduates. It was your support and guidance that made us the men and women before you today and I think the best way we can thank you is to capitalize on our experience at UC by leading lives that will make you proud, Berardi said.
Berardi encouraged fellow graduates to be an example in inspiring change and growth in the lives of others. Countless orators in biblical times have declared, To whom much is given, much is required. Even our Alma Mater ends with the words, Thy loyal children we will be. The true manifestation of that loyalty we take personally and professionally to inspire change and growth in the lives of others.
President Zimpher also advised graduates on this day of achievement. Graduates, you took a chance by deciding to pursue a higher education. You have now spent four, or in some cases five or six years earning a college degree. You are graduating at a time when our world faces many challenges. Of course our advice to you is to meet them head-on. And we have on good authority that you are up to the challenge.
Erwin McIntosh III of Forest Park delivered the oration for the afternoon ceremony. The communication and journalism graduate began his remarks by offering a word of thanks to the late Al Salvato, a UC journalism professor who lost his battle with leukemia in 2006. He had a profound impact on my life and career path, said McIntosh.
McIntosh told the graduates that this milestone was a day to be still and to reflect. Be proud of the moment youre experiencing right now because it only happens once. This is the day you graduates must be still and take time to thank those who got you to this moment Mama, he said to applause. Today is the day we count our blessings and not stress our hearts and minds over what is to be. Be still and reflect happily on this day when you took an exam in your pajamas, or when you, like me, had to change diapers between classes.
This is our graduation day and were going to celebrate and be proud of our accomplishments, said McIntosh.
During both ceremonies, UC paid special tribute to basketball icon Oscar Robertson. Generous of spirit and compassionate of heart, you have labored to make life better for many who know you only by reputation and others who do not know that you were their benefactor, said President Zimpher, as she presented Robertson with an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters. Your accomplishments reach far beyond basketball and testify to a keen mind, a focused drive toward success and courage in the face of obstacles.
A video presentation reflecting on Robertsons spectacular lifetime as an athlete, entrepreneur and philanthropist brought the packed house in Fifth Third Arena to a standing ovation.
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Robertson said his experience at UC provided him with opportunities to mature and learn. I hope your time at UC shows you as it has shown me that your future success is not always predetermined, he said. There are influences which can help change your life.
What you do, how you do it, whom you help will fulfill your life, Robertson said. So, treat others with respect, work hard and intelligently, be prepared for roadblocks, but most of all, enjoy your life. I congratulate all of you for your achievement today. I rejoice in your achievements for the future and I wish all of you the best. Go Bearcats!