Dear UNCG Graduation Candidates,
We have shared plenty of heartbreak this semester, and for many, hardship continues. That much is true. But find time to celebrate your success and turn your thoughts toward the monumental achievement that makes each of you a new member of our UNCG Alumni family –your graduation. You have been well trained and expertly prepared and stand ready to take on the challenges ahead.
The world needs you now more than ever – providing healthcare to those in need today and for years to come; blazing new trails as teachers, principals, and policy-makers for an educational system that has been transformed; leading businesses to recovery in a wounded economy; improving the quality of life in our communities through innovative public leadership and expert personal, physical, and emotional care; sparking hope through exploration, discovery, scientific breakthroughs, and deeply understanding our world; and rejuvenating our communities through creativity, boldness, and the power of the arts.
Nearly 3,000 of our students will become graduates on May 8 – 2,211 bachelor’s degrees, 616 master’s degrees, 129 doctoral degrees, and 12 specialist in education degrees. Every degree comes with a story. Every one of you deserves recognition. We see you. And now, more than ever, the world needs you.
Wherever you are, it’s time to recognize and honor you as a group and as individuals. In Greensboro, Raleigh, and Charlotte you will see two-page spreads in the newspapers listing all of your names on May 10. Look overhead in Raleigh and Greensboro on May 8, and I hope you see a message of pride from us high above (a banner carried by a plane, so you can see it without leaving home). The Lloyd International Honors College, School of Nursing, CVPA and others will be running ads in the Greensboro News & Record to celebrate your achievements as well.
Our Alumni Engagement team has already started its Virtual Red Carpet celebration on social media channels. And please show us how you are celebrating this important milestone by uploading an image through the UNCG Mobile app’s “Celebration 2020” persona, or upload a video on social media using #UNCGGrad. We also know your opportunity to participate in many highlight activities on campus was cut short this semester, so UNCG Athletics has a gift for you too … a free season ticket for the 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball seasons for each 2020 grad.
Each of our academic units has special celebrations, by school or by department, to share this moment with your professors and classmates. There are too many specific activities to list here, so please check this website for all the details and updates on celebrations. Please know that we continue to work on an event for early fall to bring you back for the kind of ceremony that you want, deserve, and have earned.
We are proud of you. We are thrilled you found your way here. And we eagerly look forward to watching you and supporting you in the next steps you take as alumni, as citizens, as leaders, and as Spartans.
Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.