UNC Asheville celebrates 82nd Commencement
Hitting the Job Market
Despite the ongoing economic downturn, many UNC Asheville graduates will be trading their caps and gowns for corporate wear in the next few weeks.
Amanda Bowen, an atmospheric sciences major, has been hired by the National Weather Service's Forecast Office in Melbourne, Fla. Bowen will verify severe weather warnings, collect daily climate data and take weather observations.
Asheville native Jerome Hughes has landed a position with Goldman Sachs in New York City. Hughes, a computer science major, worked as an intern last summer in Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management Division. Hughes made such a positive impact that he was immediately offered a job.
Renee Royal is has secured a highly coveted spot in the National Institute of Health’s Intramural Research Training Award Program in Baltimore, Md. In this paid post-baccalaureate program, she will conduct cutting-edge biochemical research in one of the nation’s top laboratories. Less than 10 percent of those who applied for a spot in the program were accepted.
Closer to home, graduates have secured jobs with A-B Tech, Asheville School, dataBridge, Earth Fare’s corporate office, Grandfather Mountain and HomeTrust Bank.
More than 4.500 family and friends gathered on UNC Asheville's Quadrangle on Saturday, May 15, to celebrate the Class of 2010. Some 677 students were honored during the 82nd Commencement Ceremony, including 436 spring graduates, 34 summer graduates and 207 winter graduates, who were snowed out of their ceremony in December. Among them were twins Lindsay and Rachel Prather and brother Nick Prather, the university's largest group of siblings to graduate in the same class.
Early in the ceremony, Chancellor Anne Ponder presented honorary degrees to noted civil rights leader and freedom singer Bernice Johnson Reagon, legendary Tar Heel men's basketball coach Dean Smith and current UNC-Chapel Hill men's basketball head coach Roy Williams. Williams accepted the award on behalf of Smith, who was unable to attend.
After receiving the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, Reagon addressed the graduates. "What if you are not an aberration? What if you are more than the result of maybe? What if you are called into this time because you are desperately needed? Keep in mind, as you move from this day, that you might be much more than you think you are," she said. "...This planet awaits you. This nation needs you desperately. This nation needs all you can bring to the table: your learning, future training and your questioning. What if you are not an aberration?"
During the ceremony, three graduates received UNC Asheville's highest student awards. A top faculty teaching award was also presented.
Alikhan Salehi received the William and Ida Friday Award for Community Service. The A.C. Reynolds Award and the Thomas D. Reynolds Prize for Leadership and Campus Service was presented to Sara Lenthall. Jacob Riley was named recipient of the Manly E. Wright Award, which is presented to the student first in scholarship.
The Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award was presented to Grace Campbell, lecturer and senior capstone course coordinator in the Humanities Program. Campbell, who joined the faculty in 1999, has been instrumental in cultivating a number of innovative academic programs.
Chancellor Ponder closed the ceremony with a reminder to the Class of 2010: "Graduates, as you leave here today and go into the world, I know that you will remember fondly your Alma Mater. May you be assured in the knowledge that the University of North Carolina at Asheville is behind you all the way."
Photographs: Graduates' photographs were taken as they received their diplomas by the Georgia-based company Action International Marketing. In the next few weeks, the photographer will send purchase information to graduates' permanent addresses on file with the University. Images will also be available online or you may go to www.mygradphotos.com to view and order photographs.
Video: DVD copies of the Spring 2010 Commencement will be available on May 26. Please email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also drop by the CITS desk (Ramsey Library Room 002) and pick up a DVD during regular library hours. DVDs are $5 per copy.