With social distancing guidelines in place, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro celebrated its 2020 and 2021 graduates with five in-person ceremonies between May 7 and 8 at The Greensboro Coliseum.
“The classes of 2020 and 2021 have persevered in the face of enormous challenges. Each of our graduates has shown tremendous resilience and the kind of compassion and sense of community that speaks well of our collective character. We are proud of every graduate and celebrate their earned achievement,” said UNCG Chancellor Frank D. Gilliam Jr.
The chancellor noted that the graduates have learned more than just what was taught in the classroom such as determination, resilience, tolerance, empathy and grace.
“Think about this, you graduated, in the middle of a global pandemic. If you manage to keep it together during a once in a lifetime crisis, then you can do anything,” he said. “Have confidence in yourself. Confidence comes from when you face adversity and you overcome it. You know you can do it again.”
UNCG’s commencements did not have a keynote speaker this year, but did include remarks from the class presidents and the chancellor.
“Today is the day we recognize the hard work of earning our degrees,” said Austin Moore, 2021 Student Government Association Class President. “Failing and success are nearly so similar that you must understand in order to appreciate success, failure is inevitable. Despite the trials of this past year, we have not given up.”
The university awarded more than 2,800 degrees to the Class of 2021. Approximately 900 graduates from the Class of 2020 returned to Greensboro to walk across the stage. There were also virtual ceremonies available for those who were unable to attend in-person.
While the class of 2021 completed their degrees online during uncertain times, Hunter Martin, 2020 Student Government Association Class President noted that the class of 2020 was thrust out into the world to find employment during a time when businesses were forced to close. She applauded her classmates’ resilience at Saturday’s ceremony.
“Today is a monumental day that has been much anticipated. Typically, today would be a day to envision what post grad life would look like for us. For many of us we have been out in the real world for quite some time now. This past year has taught us that nothing is for certain and you cannot take life for granted. We’ve been challenged greatly this past year and this ceremony commemorates our resilience,” said Martin.
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