In her greetings to graduates, Faculty Senate Chair Dr. Kay McClanahan summed up Spring Commencement 2006.
“Is this gorgeous day an omen for your future or what?” Dr. McClanahan said.
Blue skies, warm sun and a gentle breeze greeted the 408 graduates at May 6 commencement ceremonies at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. It left several graduates breathless.
Honorary Doctor of Human Letters recipient James F. Hubbard
“Four years went by really quckily, but it was an experience like no other,” said Lindsay Bartholf of the Class of 2006.
“These are the memories of a lifetime,” said SGA President Marko Gospojevic.
Among the prospective graduates were several old friends. James F. Hubbard, a 20-year faculty member (1965-86), received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. His passion for students remains steadfast.
“My life was students,” he said to widespread applause. “And how I enjoyed it.”
The commencement address was delivered by UNC President Emerita Molly Corbett Broad, who led North Carolina’s university system from 1997-2007. She praised UNCP and challenged the graduates to go out and conquer a diverse new world.
UNC President Emerita Molly Corbett Broad
“Certainly, UNC Pembroke – now your alma mater – is a University on the rise, one increasingly recognized for the quality of its faculty and academic programs as well as its growing commitment to assist in the development of the surrounding region,” Broad said. “Enrollment has grown to the current 5,600 students with a richly diverse student body and a wide array of degree programs at both the baccalaureate and master’s level.
“The expansion of college opportunity here at Pembroke just since 2000 has been nothing short of phenomenal,” she said. “The impressive growth on this campus is a tribute to the leadership shown by Chancellor (Allen C.) Meadors, the board of trustees and the entire team. It is a source of enormous pride for this University and for me, personally.”
Broad noted that in the new millenium, North Carolina has opened the doors of opportunity to more students in higher education than ever before, in part, due to the growth of campuses like UNCP. Challenges persist, she said.
Graduate Bryan Graham
“So as we make our way through this still new millenium and UNC Pembroke’s second century, let us remember that the challenges and opportunities that await us in the years ahead will require no less vision, no less foresight, that has brought us to this important milestone,” Broad said. “Our common destiny will be defined by the way we honor the many cultures, religions and traditions that now comprise North Carolina, by how we reshape policies that govern our conduct and by how we embrace our community humanity while respecting our diversity.”
Fifty-five of the 408 graduates earned Master’s degrees. Offering greetings were Dr. Michelle Howard-Vital, associate vice president for Academic Affairs for UNC; Carl Meares Jr., chair of the UNCP Board of Trustees, and James Bass, director of the Office of Alumni Relations
Dr. Thomas Leach, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, introduced the candidate for the Honorary Doctorate. Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs presented the gradudates. Dr. Robert Brown, winner of the 2006 UNC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award, was the grand marshal.