That was the message heard by graduates Dec. 15 as UNCG awarded more than 1,700 degrees at commencement.
“What is needed is action,” said commencement speaker Dr. Thomas Matyók. “The challenges facing us cannot wait for answers – they need people who will act now in new ways.”
Matyók, department chair and director of graduate studies in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, encouraged the new alumni to find their true passions in order to stay the course and make a difference in the world.
“Passion makes it all worthwhile,” he said. “Use your passion as a way of creating a newer and more humane world. No task is too small.”
UNCG awarded approximately 1,314 bachelor’s degrees, 363 master’s degrees, 76 doctoral degrees and six specialist in education degrees at this morning’s ceremony. Among the sea of blue and gold were the first graduates of the School of Nursing’s Veterans Access Program, an accelerated bachelor’s in nursing degree program for medically trained veterans.
According to Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., these numbers represent passionate change-makers poised to shape the future.
“Be assured that the training and preparation at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro have made you ready to meet this world head on,” Gilliam said. “And indeed, it is time for all of you to begin to take your giant steps – to make your mark in the world.”
Matyók echoed the chancellor’s remarks, leaving the graduates with one final piece of advice before tassels were turned:
“Find your passion, take responsibility for positively changing a part of the world and building peace, and begin writing your biography today.”
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian
Photography by Martin W. Kane