Old Dominion's 114th commencement exercises on Saturday marked the first time the university has held three separate graduation ceremonies. The addition reflects the growth of this outstanding institution and our desire to accommodate the proud friends and family who fill the seats at the Ted Constant Convocation Center to watch their favorite graduate walk across the stage.
Although it made for a long day for the ODU staff involved in the three ceremonies, it was a great day in the university's history, and I would not have missed the opportunity to shake hands with each of our newest graduates. The excitement we all felt for this record number of degree recipients is what kept us going. In all, more than 3,800 students from the spring and summer graduating classes were eligible to receive undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees at the ceremonies.
The ceremonies were all the more memorable, thanks to the words of three inspiring speakers: Blythe McGarvie, CEO and founder of Leadership for International Finance, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, the senior senator from Virginia, and ODU alumna Adriane Brown, president and COO of Intellectual Ventures.
They challenged students to be courageous, dedicated and innovative to leave their mark on the world. For those of us on stage and the faculty members seated in the front rows, we couldn't help but be uplifted ourselves as we joined in the excitement of our newest graduates, who were about to set off on the next journey in their lives.
It was a fitting and terrific end to the traditional academic calendar, and what a great Mother's Day gift to all the proud moms who watched as their sons and daughters were formally recognized for their achievement amid the pomp and circumstance.
Congratulations graduates! We are honored to count you among the more than 100,000-strong Old Dominion University Alumni Pride.
This article was posted on: May 8, 2011
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