Spring 2019 Graduate and Professional Commencement Ceremony – May 10, 2019

Spring 2019 Graduate and Professional Commencement Ceremony – May 10, 2019

October 9, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


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. . [MUSIC] [MUSIC] ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ >>GOOD AFTERNOON. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE THE
NUMBERS OF THE NORTH CAROLINA UNIVERSITY GRADUATES AND
PROFESSIONAL CLASS FOR 2019. [ APPLAUSE ] [MUSIC] ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ [MUSIC] [MUSIC] ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ [MUSIC] ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] GOOD AFTERNOON.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE STAND FOR THE POSTING OF THE
COLORS. [PLAYING “THE STAR-SPANGLED
BANNER”] AGAIN, WE SALUTE MEMBERS OF THE
NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY’S GRADUATE AND
PROFESSIONAL CLASS OF 2019. [ APPLAUSE ] PLEASE LOOK AROUND AND NOTICE
WHERE THE EXITS ARE LOCATED. MEDICAL PERSONNEL ARE ON DUTY
SHOULD THE NEED ARISE. I DECLARE OUR 133rd COMMENCEMENT
EXERCISES, OPEN. IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO
PRESENT TO YOU THE 12TH CHANCELLOR OF NORTH CAROLINA
CENTRAL UNIVERSITY, DR. JOHNSON O. AKINLEYE.
[ APPLAUSE ] CONGRATULATIONS, ONCE AGAIN. TODAY — 133rd COMMENCEMENT
EXERCISES ARE THE CULMINATION OF HARD WORK, GRIT AND ACADEMIC RIGOR DISPLAYED BY THE MORE THAN 412 SCHOLARS WHO HAVE EARNED AND
WILL RECEIVE THEIR DEGREE THIS MORNING. THE GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL
CEREMONY IS ONE THAT RECOGNIZES ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN AWARDING MASTER’S, JURIS DOCTOR AND
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREES TO STUDENTS
WHO HAVE MET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE PROGRAMS OF
STUDY. FOR THIS FORMAL CEREMONY FILLED
WITH POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE, I ASK THAT WHILE WE WANT YOU TO
ENJOY THIS TIME OF GREAT CELEBRATION FOR GRADUATES AND
FAMILIES ALIKE, THERE ALSO IS A NEED TO ENSURE THAT THIS MOMENT
IS EQUALLY JOYOUS FOR ALL OUR SCHOLARS. PLEASE BE GENEROUS AND MINDFUL OF YOUR NEIGHBORS WHO, LIKE YOU,
HAVE ANXIOUSLY WAITED, PRAYED AND SACRIFICED IN ANTICIPATION
OF THIS MOMENT. WE KNOW YOU ARE EAGER TO GET A
GLIMPSE OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBER OR DEAR FRIEND WALKING ACROSS THE
STAGE AND SECURING THEIR HARD-EARNED DEGREE, AND WE WANT
TO ENSURE THAT ALL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE NEAR YOU IS IN NEED OF MEDICAL ATTENTION, PLEASE
SIGNAL TO A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT TEAM
STATIONED THROUGHOUT THIS STADIUM. REMEMBER, IF YOU SEE SOMETHING,
SAY SOMETHING. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR
POLITE ATTENTION AS WE OFFICIALLY
BEGIN NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY’S 133RD COMMENCEMENT
EXERCISES! TODAY’S CEREMONY IS CULMINATION OF RIGOROUS STUDY BY STUDENTS PURSUING A QUEST FOR DISCOVERY, THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE AND DESIRE
TO GROW, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. EACH OF YOU, MEMBERS OF THE CLASS OF 2019, REPRESENT THE
FULFILLMENT OF THE EAGLE PROMISE.
YOU ARE SCHOLARS WHO HAVE COMPLETED YOUR DEGREE, ARE SOCIALLY AND
GLOBALLY ENGAGED, HAVE PROVEN LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND ARE
MARKET READY FOR YOUR NEXT BIG CHAPTER. YOU DESERVE A BIG ROUND OF
APPLAUSE. AND CONGRATULATIONS.
[ APPLAUSE ] AT THIS TIME IT HAS BECOME OUR
TRADITION TO RECOGNIZE TWO OF THE MANY OUTSTANDING MEMBERS OF THE
GRADUATING CLASS WHO HAVE ATTAINED GREAT HEIGHTS DURING
THEIR MATRICULATION AT NCCU. THESE LEADERS TRULY EPITOMIZE
THE EAGLE PROMISE. THIS YEAR, I WOULD LIKE TO
RECOGNIZE A HUSBAND AND WIFE WHO ARE GRADUATING FROM THE SCHOOL
OF LAW. WILL GLAYVERTH AND THALITA SILVA
PLEASE STAND? THE SILVAS’ JOURNEY TO OBTAINING
THEIR JURIS DOCTOR DEGREES WAS NO SMALL FEAT FOR THE MARRIED
COUPLE. IRONICALLY, BOTH GLAYVERTH AND
THALITA ARE FROM BRAZIL, BUT DIDN’T MEET UNTIL 2010 AND
MARRIED IN 2013. GLAYVERTH IMMIGRATED TO THE
UNITED STATES AT AGE FIVE. AS THEY NAVIGATED THROUGH LIFE TOGETHER, BOTH DECIDED TO ENROLL AT THE NCCU SCHOOL OF LAW AFTER COMPLETING THEIR UNDERGRADUATE
STUDIES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, THEY
DEVELOPED AN INTEREST IN BANKRUPTCY LAW AND ASSISTED WITH ESTABLISHING THE
NCCU BANKRUPTCY COUNCIL. DURING LAW SCHOOL, GLAYVERTH
INTERNED WITH THE U.S. CONGRESS REPRESENTATIVE KAREN
BASS’ OFFICE IN CALIFORNIA, AND
THALITA INTERNED WITH A FEDERAL JUDGE IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL.
HOWEVER, THALITA FOUND THAT HER LAW SCHOOL EXPERIENCE WAS
MISSING AN IMPORTANT FACTOR. WHILE SITTING IN CLASS AND
LEARNING ABOUT CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AND OTHER RIGHTS, I REALIZED
THAT MY CLASSMATES HAD RIGHTS, THAT I DIDN’T HAVE, SHARED
THALITA. IN WANTING TO EXPERIENCE THE FULL BREADTH OF AMERICAN
FREEDOM, THALITA RECEIVED HER AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP IN OCTOBER
2018 AFTER AN EXTENSIVE PROCESS AND TESTING WITH THE U.S.
CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES.
[ APPLAUSE ] AFTER SUCCESSFULLY PASSING THE
NORTH CAROLINA BAR EXAM, GLAYVERTH HOPES TO CONTINUE PURSUING HIS INTERESTS
IN BANKRUPTCY LAW AND THALITA IS LOOKING TO WORK AS A
JUDGE-IN-CHAMBERS, WHICH IS AN OFFICE AND COURTROOM THAT
HANDLES EMERGENCY AND SHORT-TERM CASES AND HEARINGS, AS WELL AS
MANY OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS.
CONGRATULATIONS GLAVERYTH AND THALITA SILVA!
[ APPLAUSE ] YOU MAY BE SEATED. ADDITIONALLY, THERE ARE TWO GRADUATES WHO ARE THE THIRD
COHORT OF STUDENTS TO COMPLETE THE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM IN
COMMUNICATIONS DISORDERS WITH BEIJING LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
UNIVERSITY. MAY HAVE I CUICUI KONG AND
HUIHUI LING! PLEASE GIVE THEM A ROUND OF
APPLAUSE AND CONGRATULATIONS TO THEM. PLEASE BE SEATED.
NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY IS LISTED ON THE
MILITARY TIMES’ 2019 BEST OF VETS FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES. IF YOU ARE A GRADUATE WHO IS
ALSO A VETERAN, WOULD YOU PLEASE STAND AT THIS TIME SO WE CAN
SALUTE YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY? THANK YOU.
[ APPLAUSE ] CONGRATULATIONS. IN THE SEATS SURROUNDING THIS ARENA ARE THE WOMEN, MEN, AND
CHILDREN WHO HAVE ENCOURAGED, SUPPORTED AND PRAYED FOR THESE
GRADUATES. IT IS THANKS TO THEM THAT
MEMBERS OF THE CLASS OF 2019 ARE APTLY PREPARED WITH A NEW
ACADEMIC CREDENTIAL. WE ARE GRATEFUL TO ALL OF YOU
FOR SURROUNDING THESE SCHOLARS WITH YOUR LOVE. OUR ILLUSTRIOUS UNIVERSITY PRIDES ITSELF ON HAVING
WORLD-CLASS FACULTY AND STAFF WHO NURTURE, PREPARE AND
TRANSFORM OUR STUDENTS INTO CATALYSTS OF CHANGE. I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE A MOMENT TO
THANK OUR MORE THAN 1,300 FACULTY AND
STAFF MEMBERS, WHOSE ROLES VARY FROM INSTRUCTOR TO
GROUNDSKEEPER, BUT ALL OF WHOM SHOW PASSION AND DEDICATION IN
SERVICE TO OUR STUDENTS. JOIN ME INMAN THANK — ME IN
THANKING OUR FACULTY AND STAFF. [ APPLAUSE ] NCCU ALUMNI ARE INFLUENCERS IN
NEARLY EVERY INDUSTRY. FROM STARTING AND LEADING THEIR
OWN BUSINESSES AND ENRICHING THE LIVES OF CHILDREN THROUGH PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
CLASSROOMS TO DEVELOPING AND SHAPING POLICY FOR LOCAL AND
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, OUR EAGLES WORK TIRELESSLY SERVING AND
GIVING BACK TO THEIR ALMA MATER. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THEIR
DEVOTION TO DEAR OL’ NCC. CLASS OF 2019, BEFORE WE MOVE ON
WITH THE PROGRAM, PLEASE TAKE JUST A MOMENT TO STAND AND
APPLAUD YOUR LOVED ONES WHO ARE HERE WITH YOU TODAY.
THEY DESERVE YOUR PRAISE! [ APPLAUSE ] YOU MAY BE SEATED. TRUTH AND SERVICE ARE
CORNERSTONES AT THIS INSTITUTION.
WE ACKNOWLEDGE OUR STUDENTS WHO EXCEL IN THIS REGARD BY PLACING
AN ASTERISK BESIDE THEIR NAME IN THE PROGRAM. EACH EACH ONE HAS MET AND
SURPASSED THE REQUIRED 120 HOURS OF SERVICE TO
THE COMMUNITY THESE STUDENTS ARE RECIPIENTS OF NCCU’S STUDENT
IMPACT AWARD. WILL ALL WHO HAVE RECEIVED THIS
HONOR, PLEASE STAND. THE STUDENT IMPACT AWARD, PLEASE
STAND. PLEASE GIVE THEM A ROUND OF
APPLAUSE! [ APPLAUSE ] CLASS OF 2019: CONGRATULATIONS!
THE PROGRAM WILL COMMENCE AS PRINTED FOLLOWING REFLECTIONS
THAT WILL BE PROVIDED BY THE REVEREND GILLIAN WATSON OF THE
OFFICE OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT AND DIALOGUE. AGAIN, GOOD AFTERNOON! GREETINGS, AND TO OUR FACULTY,
STAFF, ALUMNI, ADMINISTRATION, FAMILY–
AT NCCU’S GRADUATING CLASS OF 2019.
YOU HAVE MADE IT. [ APPLAUSE ] BY DELIBERATION, YOUR POWER FOR
— YOU HAVE MADE IT TO THIS VERY
MOMENT. TODAY IS PROOF THAT YOU — OF
HAVING OVERCOME YOUR CRITICS, THE
UNFORESEEN OBSTACLES, CHALLENGES, EVENTS, AND VARIABLES THAT HAVE COME YOUR
WAY TO — THE GREAT MUHAMMED ALI, YOU
DIDN’T JUST — BUT YOU MADE TODAY COUNT. — YOU DIDN’T JUST COUNT TODAY,
BUT YOU MADE THE DAY COUNT. WE HERE AT NORTH CAROLINA
CENTRAL UNIVERSITY, WE HAVE FACED MANY
CHALLENGES. WE LOST A FEW ALONG THE WAY SUCH
AS OUR OWN — THEY WILL BE MISSED GREATLY. WE AS EAGLES HAVE STAYED WITH RESILIENCE, WE HAVE UNITED AS A
STRONGER COMMUNITY. WE’VE BEEN IN MANY STORMS, WE
MUST TAKE ALONG THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE
EAGLE AND USE EACH STORM TO SOAR TO EVEN HIGHER HEIGHTS. SOME OF YOU MAY ASK, WAS ALL OF
IT WORTH IT? WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
— CREATED YOU FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS. WE HAVE — YOU TO A VARIABLE TO CHALLENGE YOU AND FEARS THAT MAY
COME. AT THOSE MOMENTS YOU CONQUER,
THE TIMES OF HOPE AND FAITH LET YOU ON THE RIGHT PATH AND USED THE SKILL TO
BELIEVE IN EVEN GREATER. REMEMBER, GRADUATES, IT’S NOT
SIMPLY MEASURED BY THE KNOWLEDGE YOU HAVE GAINED, BUT BY THE
ABILITY TO SEE ANY OBSTACLE AS AN OPPORTUNITY, TO FACE ANY FEAR
AND USE IT AS A TOOL TO KEEP YOU HUNGRY FOR THE UNKNOWN. AND USE THAT HUNGER OR DESIRE AS
A MEANS TO PREPARE YOU INTO YOUR
DEATH — PROPEL YOU INTO YOUR DESTINY. THE WORDS OF JEREMIAH 29:11 SAY,
FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU,
SAID THE LORD, THOSE OF PEACE AND NOT OF
EVIL, TO GIVE YOU AN EXPECTED END. — [INDISCERNIBLE] WE HAVE COME
SO FAR AND I ADMONISH YOU TO KEEP
REACHING FOR EVEN GREATER HEIGHTS.
THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF YOUR BRAND NEW ADVENTURE. CONGRATULATIONS, GRADUATES.
AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL.>>THANK YOU, REVEREND. NEXT, GREETINGS WILL BE GIVEN BY
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NCCU BOARD OF TRUSTEES, MR. GEORGE
HAMILTON; FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE GRADUATE STUDENT
ASSOCIATION, MS. OLIVIA SINGS AND PRESIDENT OF THE STUDENT BAR
ASSOCIATION, MS. ABIGAIL M. HOLLOWAY. TO ALL THE PLATFORM GUESTS, GOOD AFTERNOON TO ALL OF THOSE
GATHERED HERE TODAY. I AM TRULY HONORED TO BRING
GREETINGS ON BEHALF OF THE NORTH CAROLINA
CENTRAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES AS WE CELEBRATE ANOTHER CLASS OF STELLAR NCCU
SCHOLARS WHO WILL RECEIVE THEIR WELL-EARNED DEGREES TODAY. OVER THE PAST YEAR, THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES HAS REMAINED COMMITTED
TO PROVIDING SOUND COUNSEL AND
ESTABLISHING GUIDELINES FOR PROGRAMS AND
SERVICES THAT ADMINISTRATORS, FACULTY,
AND STAFF CAN IMPLEMENT TO ENSURE THAT YOU, OUR FUTURE LEADERS, ARE FULLY
PREPARED TO COMPETE ON THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE. YOU ARE AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OUR
NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. AND TODAY, I AM BEAMING WITH JOY
THAT YOU WILL CROSS THE FINISH LINE OF A CHAPTER IN YOUR LONG-AWAITED
NOVEL WHOSE SUBSEQUENT PAGES ARE WAITING TO BE INKED. FOR MANY OF YOU, THE PATH TO
THIS DAY WAS FILLED WITH WHAT SEEMED TO
BE STEEP HILLS AND INSURMOUNTABLE MOUNTAINS, BUT,
GUESS WHAT? NONE OF THAT MATTERS NOW. BECAUSE YOU HAVE OVERCOME THOSE
OBSTACLES. YOUR PRESENCE IN THIS ARENA
UNDERSCORES YOUR TENACITY AND DETERMINATION
TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS. AND YOU AND YOUR FAMILY SHOULD
BE VERY PROUD. AS YOU EMBARK ON YOUR NEW
JOURNEY, WE ASK THAT YOU REMEMBER WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED ON THE SLOPING HILLS AND
THE GREEN. THE EAGLE IS NO ORDINARY
BARNYARD FOWL. BECAUSE IT HAS VISION THAT
PRODUCES EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS. IT IS FEARLESS AND IT FACES
PROBLEMS HEAD-ON. IT IS SAID THAT THE EAGLE IS THE
ONLY BIRD THAT WILL FLY THROUGH THE STORM USING THE WIND TO GLIDE ABOVE
THE STORM. BUT MEETING CHALLENGES AS
OPPORTUNITIES. FELLOW EAGLES, THAT’S YOU.
CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN, AND BEST OF LUCK AS YOU CONTINUE THE UNIVERSITY’S
MOTTO, A TRUTH AND SERVICE IN THE NEXT CHAPTER OF YOUR LIVES.
THANK YOU. [ APPLAUSE ] GOOD AFTERNOON, BOARD OF TRUSTEE
MEMBERS, CHIEF JUSTICE BEASLEY, PLATFORM GUESTS, FACULTY, STAFF, ALUMNI,
FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE GRADUATING
CLASS OF 2019! WHEN WE WERE FRESHMEN IN COLLEGE
— FOUR YEARS SEEMED VERY FAR AWAY.
WHEN WE BEGAN OUR PROFESSIONAL DEGREE PROGRAM, IT SEEMED THIS
WOULD BE VERY FAR AWAY. BUT HERE WE ARE WITH OUR DEGREES
IN HAND AND WONDERING HOW TIME HAS FLOWN SO QUICKLY WITH ALL OF
THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED. ONE THING THAT GOT US THROUGH?
PERSEVERANCE. MY NAME IS OLIVIA, FORMER
PRESIDENT OF THE NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY GRADUATE
STUDENT ASSOCIATION. REFLECTING ON YOUR ASSOCIATION’S
MOTTO, SUCCESS THROUGH TEAMWORK. TEAMWORK IS EFFECTIVE
COLLABORATION OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE TO OBTAIN A GOAL.
TODAY, ALL OF US HAVE REACHED OUR GOAL AT NCCU. WITH YOUR SUPPORT, FRIENDS,
PROFESSORS, AND COLLEAGUES, IT IS OFTEN SAID THAT — HOWEVER, I BELIEVE MY FELLOW
GRADUATES WILL TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER BY NOTING IT TAKES A
VILLAGE TO ACHIEVE ANY GOALS REGARDLESS OF YOUR STAGE IN
LIFE. AS CHILDREN, OUR FIRST ACADEMIC
— [INDISCERNIBLE] BUT WE DIDN’T — BUT A VERY COOL SONG THAT WE
WANTED TO LEARN. WE NEVER COULD FEAR WE WOULD NOT
LEARN OUR ABCs, BUT THAT WE COULD AND WE WOULD. I WOULD LIKE TO CHALLENGE YOU TO
TACKLE YOUR INNER CHILD WHEN IT COMES TO THE GOALS THAT YOU HAVE
SET FOR YOURSELF. REMEMBER THAT THROUGH EACH
STEPPINGSTONE, IT IS PIVOTAL TO PERSEVERE THROUGH ALL OBSTACLES. IN THE WORDS OF DENZEL
WASHINGTON,- [INDISCERNIBLE] IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER EACH
TALENT IS ONLY AN OPPORTUNITY TO PUSH YOU FORWARD, WITH LIFE, IT
IS IMPORTANT TO LEARN THESE NEW ABCs, A FOR
ABILITY, B FOR BRAVE, AND C FOR CHALLENGES. BUT FIRST, I WANT YOU TO USE
YOUR ABILITY TO POSITION YOURSELF TO
HAVE THE UNEXPECTED — [INDISCERNIBLE] TO COME YOUR
WAY, REMEMBER TO BEND BUT NEVER BREAK WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR
GOALS. AND SECOND, SOAR ABOVE ANY
CHALLENGES THAT COME YOUR WAY. LET YOUR ABILITY GET YOUR THERE,
LET YOUR — [INDISCERNIBLE] REMIND YOU WHO YOU ARE, AND YOUR
CHALLENGES REMIND YOU YOU CAN CONQUER ANYTHING.
ALWAYS REMEMBER, YOU ARE NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY
ALUMNI. WE ARE IN THIS. WE HAVE ALL NOW DISCOVERED WHAT
IS CENTRAL TO US. AND AS YOU CONCLUDE YOUR
ACADEMIC CAREER HERE AT NCCU, I CHALLENGE YOU TO
HELP SOMEONE ELSE DISCOVER EXACTLY
WHAT IS CENTRAL TO THEM. AGAIN, CONGRATULATIONS, CLASS OF
2019. [ APPLAUSE ]>>GREETINGS, CHANCELLOR, DEAN,
BOARD OF TRUSTEES, CHIEF JUSTICE BEASLEY, FACULTY, STAFF, FAMILY,
FRIENDS, AND GRADUATES. MY NAME IS ABIGAIL HOLLOWAY AND
I’M THE STUDENT ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA
CENTRAL UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW.
[ APPLAUSE ] I BRING YOU GREETINGS ON BEHALF
OF THE LAW SCHOOL, OUR DEAN, AND THE STUDENT BAR ASSOCIATION.
CONGRATULATIONS, CLASS OF 2019. YOUR DEGREE PROGRAMS HAVE
BROUGHT YOU TO THIS POINT. YOU HAVE ALL UNDERGONE A
RIGOROUS COURSE OF STUDY AND STAND HERE ON THE LINE OF THE
REST OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER. TO MY LAW SCHOOL CLASSMATES —
[ APPLAUSE ] WE ARE TOLD YEAR AFTER YEAR THAT
WORDS ARE THE TOOLS OF OUR TRADE.
SO I’LL BE BRIEF. WE’VE BEEN WORKING DILIGENTLY
TOWARDS THIS DEGREE. WE LEARNED THE RULES, EXCEPTIONS
TO THE RULES, AND THE EXCEPTIONS TO THE EXCEPTIONS.
WE HAVE READ AND BRIEFED HUNDREDS OF CASES SUCH AS THE
BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION. WE HAVE TAKEN EXAMS AFTER EXAMS,
WRITTEN PAPER AFTER PAPER. EVERYTHING WE’VE DONE, THE
SACRIFICES MADE, THE FEAR, THE LAUGHTER,
AND THE CHALLENGES HAVE PREPARED US FOR THIS DAY. IT HADN’T BEEN AN EASY ROAD, BUT
HERE WE STAND. I’D LIKE TO TAKE A MOMENT TO
THANK EVERYONE WHO HELPED US GET TO THIS POINT. PARENTS, FAMILY, FRIENDS,
PROFESSORS, ADMINISTRATORS, MENTORS, AND ANYONE ELSE WHO
HAVE PLAYED A ROLE IN OUR SUCCESS.
THANK YOU. BY GETTING TO THIS POINT, WE
HAVE SET OURSELVES UP FOR SUCCESS.
WE HAVE SOCIAL ENGINEERS, FIGHTERS FOR JUSTICE, AND
ORCHESTRATERS OF PEACE. WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN POWERS AND
WITH THOSE POWERS COME RESPONSIBILITY.
USE YOUR POWERS FOR GOOD. THAT’S MY CHARGE TO YOU TODAY. THE PREAMBLE OF PROFESSIONAL
RESPONSIBILITY STATES THAT A LAWYER AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF —
[INDISCERNIBLE] AN OFFICER OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM AND A PUBLIC
CITIZEN HAVING THE SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE QUALITY
OF JUSTICE. AS A LAWYER, YOU WILL HAVE YOUR
POWER TO ADVISE, ADVOCATE, NEGOTIATE, AND EVALUATE A
MULTI-TUESDAY OF ISSUES. USE YOUR POWERS FOR GOOD. YOU MIGHT REPRESENT SOMEBODY WHO
IS FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIFE. USE YOUR POWERS FOR GOOD. YOU MIGHT WIN A CASE FOR $50
BILLION. USE YOUR POWER FOR GOOD.
USE YOUR POWERS FOR GOOD, AND DON’T FORGET WHERE YOU CAME
FROM. FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA SAYS
WE SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE THREE FRIENDS IN OUR LIFE, ONE WHO WE
LOOK UP TO AND FOLLOW, ONE WHO WALKS BESIDE US, WHO IS WITH US
EVERY STEP OF OUR JOURNEY, AND THEN ONE WHO WE REACH BACK FOR
AND BRING ALONG AFTER WE’VE CLEARED THE WAY. REMEMBER THIS.
REMEMBER THIS PLACE, REMEMBER THIS SCHOOL THAT GAVE YOU THE
OPPORTUNITY, THE SCHOOL THAT SHAPED YOU TO THE ATTORNEY THAT
YOU’VE BECOME. NEVER FORGET THE LEGAL EAGLE,
YOU ARE CUT FROM A DIFFERENT CLOTH. YOU ARE NO ORDINARY BARN FOUL.
OTHER BIRDS MAY FLY, BUT THE EAGLE SOARS. AS WE GO AWAY FROM THIS PLACE,
NEVER FORGET THAT IT’S HERE READY TO WELCOME US BACK, READY TO ENCOURAGE,
READY TO GET UNDER THE WINGS OF THOSE
BEHIND US. CONGRATULATIONS, CLASS OF 2019.
[ APPLAUSE ] THANK YOU MS. HOLLOWAY. THOSE WERE FINE WORDS. THERE ARE A SEVERAL
DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, ADMINISTRATORS AND
OTHERS WHO ARE SEATED WITH ME ON THE PLATFORM THAT I WILL RECOGNIZE AT THIS TIME.
I WOULD ASK THAT YOU STAND: TO MY LEFT, YOUR RIGHT:
PLEASE HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE UNTIL THE LAST PERSON IS RECOGNIZED. TO MY LEFT AND YOUR RIGHT —
THE HONORABLE CHERI BEASLEY, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE NORTH
CAROLINA SUPREME COURT. MR. GEORGE HAMILTON, CHAIR, NCCU
BOARD OF TRUSTEES. DR. CORNELIUS WOOTEN, VICE
CHANCELLOR, ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE. DR. HARRIET FRINK DAVIS, VICE
CHANCELLOR, INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT. DR. ANGELA COLEMAN, VICE
CHANCELLOR, DIVISION OF STUDENT AFFAIRS.
DR. WILLIAM ROBINSON, CHAIR, FACULTY SENATE.
MR. SAMUEL COOPER, PRESIDENT, NCCU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION INC.
MS. DEMETRIA ROBINSON, CHAIR, STAFF SENATE.
DR. JEROME GOODWIN, UNIVERSITY REGISTRAR.
DR. ROBERT HORNE, PLATFORM MARSHAL. PLEASE GIVE THEM A ROUND OF
APPLAUSE. [ APPLAUSE ] AND TO MY RIGHT, YOUR LEFT:
DR. FELECIA NAVE, PROVOST AND VICE CHANCELLOR FOR ACADEMIC
AFFAIRS. DR. M. LA VERNE REID, UNIVERSITY
MARSHAL. DR. JALEH REZAIE, DEAN, SCHOOL
OF GRADUATE STUDIES. DR. CARLTON WILSON, DEAN, COLLEGE
OF ARTS AND SCIENCES. DR. DEBRA PARKER, DEAN, COLLEGE
OF BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES.
DR. AUDREY BEARD, DEAN, SCHOOL OF EDUCATION.
DR. ANTHONY NELSON, DEAN, SCHOOL OF BUSINESS.
DR. JON GANT, DEAN, SCHOOL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION
SCIENCES. THE HONORABLE ELAINE O’NEAL,
INTERIM DEAN, SCHOOL OF LAW REVEREND
GILLIAM WATSON, OFFICE OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT AND DIALOGUE.
MS. OLIVIA SINGS, PAST PRESIDENT GRADUATE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION.
MS. ABIGAIL HOLLOWAY, PRESIDENT, STUDENT BAR ASSOCIATION. DR. RALPH BARRETT, FACULTY
MARSHAL. PLEASE GIVE THEM A ROUND OF
APPLAUSE. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ESPECIALLY
RECOGNIZE MY WIFE, MRS. JUANITA AKINLEYE. AND THE SPOUSE OF OUR CHIEF
JUSTICE, MR. BEASLEY. [ APPLAUSE ]
ADDITIONALLY, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS WHO SERVE
AS ADVISORS, ADVOCATES AND SUPPORTERS OF NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY TO
WHOM I EXTEND A WARM WELCOME AND OUR
THANKS. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR
PRESENCE WITH US TODAY. PLEASE STAND OR WAVE YOUR HANDS
WHEN I RECOGNIZE YOUR AFFILIATION:
MEMBERS OF THE CLERGY. CURRENT AND FORMER MEMBERS OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF GOVERNORS.
CURRENT, EMERITI AND FORMER MEMBERS OF THE NCCU BOARD OF
TRUSTEES. RETIREES OF NORTH CAROLINA
CENTRAL UNIVERSITY. IF YOU ARE IN THE ARENA, PLEASE
WAVE YOUR HAND. THANK YOU.
MEMBERS OF THE NCCU FOUNDATION INC.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS. RAISE YOUR HAND.
GIVE THEM A ROUND OF APPLAUSE, PLEASE. AND LASTLY, OUR COMMENCEMENT
COMMITTEE AND ALL VOLUNTEERS AS HOST AND
HOSTESSES FOR THIS EVENT. WILL YOU PLEASE GIVE THEM A
ROUND OF APPLAUSE. THANK YOU. WE WILL NOW HEAR A SELECTION,
“LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING” FROM
NCCU’S UNIVERSITY CHOIR LED BY MS. ROBERTA LAWS, CONDUCTOR. ♫ LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING TILL
EARTH AND HEAVEN RING RING WITH
HARMONIES OF LIBERTY ♫ ♫ LIFT EVERY VOICE AND
SING ♫ ♫ LET OUR REJOICING RISE HIGH AS
THE LISTENING SKIES LET IT RESOUND
LOUD AS THE ROLLING SEA ♫ ♫ LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING ♫ ♫ SING A SONG ♫ ♫ LIFT EVERY
VOICE AND SING A SONG ♫ ♫ SING A SONG FULL OF FAITH THAT
THE DARK PAST HAS TAUGHT US SING A SONG FULL OF HOPE THAT THE
PRESENT HAS BROUGHT US FACING THE RISING SUN OF OUR NEW
DAY BEGUN ♫ ♫ LET US MARCH ON LET US
MARCH ON LET US MARCH ON TILL VICTORY
IS WON ♫ ♫ STONY ROAD WE TROT BITTER THE
CHASTENING ROD FELT IN THE DAY THAT HOPE UNBORN HAD DIES ♫ ♫ YET WITH A
STEADY BEAT HAVE NOT OUR WEARY FEET ♫♫
COME TO THE PLACE ♫♫ ON WHICH OUR
FATHERS SIGHED ♫♫ WE HAVE COME OVER A WAY OH WE
HAVE COME ♫♫ A WAY WITH TEARS HAS
BEEN WATER ♫♫ WE HAVE COME TREADING OUR PATH
THROUGH THE BLOOD OF SLAUGHTERED OUT
FROM THE GLOOMY PAST IS TILL NOW WE STAND
AT LAST WHERE THE WHITE GLEAM OF OUR
STAR IS CAST ♫♫ GOD OF OUR WEARY YEARS ♫♫ GOD OF OUR SILENT TEARS ♫♫ THOU WHO HAS BROUGHT US THUS FAR ON THE WAY ♫♫ THOU WHO HAS BROUGHT US THUS FAR
ON THE WAY ♫♫ THOU WHO HAS BY THY MIGHT ♫♫ KEEP US FOREVER IN THE PATH WE
PRAY ♫♫ LEST OUR FEET STRAY FROM PLACES
OUR GOD WHERE WE MET THEE ♫♫ LEAST OUR
HEARTS DRUNK WITH THE WINE OF THE WORLD
WE FORGET THEE ♫♫ SHADOWED BENEATH THE HAND MAY WE
FOREVER STAND ♫♫ ♫♫ TRUE TO OUR GOD ♫♫
TRUE TO OUR NATIVE LAND ♫♫ LET’S GIVE OUR UNIVERSITY CHOIR
ANOTHER ROUND OF APPLAUSE. THANK YOU FOR THE PERFORMANCE. OUR COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER IS A HISTORY-MAKING PIONEER FOR OUR
STATE AND OUR COUNTRY. THIS AFTERNOON, WE WELCOME THE HONORABLE CHERI BEASLEY AS OUR 133RD GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL
EXERCISES’ COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER. THE HONORABLE CHERI BEASLEY WAS APPOINTED BY GOVERNOR ROY COOPER ON FEBRUARY 12, 2019, TO SERVE AS CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME
COURT OF NORTH CAROLINA. WHEN SHE WAS NAMED, SHE BECAME
THE FIRST BLACK FEMALE TO LEAD THE HIGHEST COURT IN OUR STATE. [ APPLAUSE ] BUT EVEN BEFORE HER APPOINTMENT THIS YEAR, SHE MADE HISTORY
PREVIOUSLY BY BEING THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN TO WIN AN
ELECTION TO STATE-WIDE OFFICE IN NORTH CAROLINA’S SUPREME COURT
WITHOUT FIRST BEING APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR.
[ APPLAUSE ] THROUGHOUT HER JUDICIAL CAREER THAT SPANS MORE THAN TWO
DECADES, CHIEF JUSTICE BEASLEY HAS DISTINGUISHED HERSELF AS A
LEGAL SCHOLAR AND PUBLIC SERVANT WITH A HEART FOR AIDING THE COMMUNITY.
SHE IS ALSO KNOWN FOR BRINGING FAIRNESS AND EQUITY TO THE CITIZENS SHE
SERVES. IN ADDITION TO HER ROLE IN STATE
GOVERNMENT, CHIEF JUSTICE BEASLEY IS A DEVOTED WIFE AND
SHE AND HER HUSBAND ARE PARENTS TO TWIN SONS, WHO JUST COMPLETED
THEIR FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE. CHIEF JUSTICE BEASLEY’S HUMILITY IS REFLECTED IN THE WORDS SHE
SPOKE UPON HER MOMENTOUS APPOINTMENT JUST FOUR MONTHS AGO:
TODAY IS REALLY A DAY OF HOPE. IT’S A DAY OF HOPE FOR JUSTICE,
REALLY FOR ALL OF US. IT IS NOT LOST ON ME, THIS HISTORIC FACT, ESPECIALLY SINCE THIS IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH.
I KNOW THAT THE WORK WE DO IS HUGELY IMPORTANT, BUT THE OTHER
THING I THINK ABOUT ARE THE LITTLE GIRLS ALONG THE WAY, WHO
OUGHT TO HAVE A SENSE OF PROMISE AND HOPE FOR THEIR FUTURES, AND SO I HOPE THAT IN SOME WAY MY
SERVICE INSPIRES YOUNG PEOPLE ESPECIALLY, BUT REALLY I HOPE IT IS A SHOW OF SYMBOLISM FOR WHERE
WE ARE IN NORTH CAROLINA. PLEASE JOIN IN WELCOMING TO THIS STAGE, THE HONORABLE CHERI
BEASLEY, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE NORTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT!
CHIEF JUSTICE BEASLEY, YOU ARE OF THE NORTH CAROLINA SUPREME
COURT. [ APPLAUSE ] THANK YOU.
THANK YOU. YEAH. CHANCELLOR, TO ALL THE
DISTINGUISHED FACULTY, FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND CERTAINLY TO THE CLASS OF 2019, I HOPE
Y’ALL ARE FEELING GOOD THIS AFTERNOON! I REALLY DO APPRECIATE THE
INVITATION TO BE HERE THIS AFTERNOON TO SHARE WITH YOU IN
THIS VERY, VERY SPECIAL DAY. A PLEASURE TO BE HERE WITH YOUR
LOVED ONES AS YOU CELEBRATE THIS
MILESTONE IN YOUR LIVES. NOW HE DID NOT TELL YOU WHERE I
WENT TO SCHOOL. I’M GOING TO TELL YOU. I WENT TO DOUGLAS COLLEGE AT
RUTLEDGE UNIVERSITY IN NEW JERSEY.
I RECEIVED MY LAW DEGREE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
COLLEGE OF LAW IN KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE, AND
JUST LAST YEAR, I RECEIVED MY JUDICIAL STUDIES AT — [INDISCERNIBLE] I TELL YOU
ALL THAT, BUT I’M ALSO A PROUD EAGLE. BECAUSE I AM A MEMBER OF THE
NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. I PAID MY DUES, AND Y’ALL
ALLOWED ME TO BE AN ASSOCIATE MEMBER.
AND I APPRECIATE THAT. [INDISCERNIBLE] I’M PROUD TO BE
AN EAGLE. PROUD SO MUCH TO BE A PART OF
YOUR CELEBRATION OF LIFE AND ENCOURAGEMENT TODAY.
WHAT A CELEBRATION IT REALLY IS. SO GONE ARE THE DAYS OF
THE ALL NIGHTERS AND THE TEST ANXIETY. WELL, THE LAW STUDENTS OVER HERE
WHO HAVE ANOTHER BIG TEST COMING. BUT THEY’LL HAVE A FEW MORE ALL
NIGHTERS AND A LITTLE MORE TEST ANXIETY. BUT I HOPE YOU WILL RELISH IN
YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS TODAY. I HOPE YOU WILL TAKE A MOMENT
TODAY TO THINK ABOUT WHAT ALL OF THIS JOURNEY HAS MEANT TO YOU
AND ALL OF THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIVES WHO HAVE SUPPORTED YOU. I HOPE YOU LOOK AT HOW FAR
YOU’VE COME, HOW MUCH YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED, HOW MUCH YOU’VE
GROWN, ALL OF THE DIFFICULTIES YOU’VE OVERCOME, AND YOU —
[INDISCERNIBLE] DIDN’T LET ANYTHING STAND IN YOUR WAY TO
GET TO THIS MOMENT. NOW, I’M SURE YOU PROBABLY HAD A
CLASS OR TWO THAT PROBABLY HOPED YOU HAD DONE A LITTLE BETTER IN,
AND YOU PROBABLY MISSED A COUPLE OF CLASSES THAT STARTED AT 8:00
A.M. AND I WON’T TELL YOUR FAMILY. AND I KNOW THAT THERE WERE BURNT DINNERS AND MISSED DANCES AND
BROKEN DOWN CARS AND EMPTY BANK ACCOUNTS AND MAYBE SOME FEARS
ALONG THE WAY. I WENT TO LAW SCHOOL TOO, Y’ALL. BUT IN THE END, YOU FIGURED IT
OUT. AND YOU SPENT THE LAST FEW YEARS
RETRAINING YOUR BRAIN WITH WONDERFUL PROFESSORS AND MENTORS
HERE AT NCCU, LEARNING TO THINK DIFFERENTLY, TO REALLY HONE IN ON YOUR FELLOWSHIP, TO
RESEARCH DIFFERENTLY, TO SPEAK DIFFERENTLY, TO EXPERIENCE DIFFERENTLY, AND TO
EMBRACE THE [INDISCERNIBLE] PROFESSION.
YOU HAD A WAY TO THINK ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION.
YOU’VE GROWN SO MUCH. YOU ARE INDEED SCHOLARS. AND YET THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO
COME. I KNOW WHEN I THINK ABOUT THE
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF EACH OF YOU IN THIS ROOM AND ALL OF THE
CAREER THAT YOU WILL HAVE ACROSS YOUR LIFE, I AM SO
PROUD AND EXCITED. I KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE THE
THOUGHT LEADERS, THE VISIONARIES IN YOUR PROFESSION, AND YOUR
WORK WILL EXPOSE TROUBLING PROBLEMS IN OUR SOCIETY’S
INSTITUTIONS AND GOVERNMENTS. IT WILL BE YOU WHO DISCOVER —
[INDISCERNIBLE] AND EASE THE SUFFERING IN YOUR WORLD AND YOUR
COMMUNITY RIGHT HERE IN DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA. IT WILL BE YOU WHO WILL DEVELOP
RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES AND FUTURE GENERATIONS, NEW
STUDENTS. YOU WHO IMPOSE INNOVATIVE
INSTITUTIONS THAT IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL OF US, AND YOU WHO WILL — [INDISCERNIBLE] IT IS YOU WHO
HAS THE POWER. AND YOU THE OBLIGATION TO
TRANSFORM YOUR COMMUNITY, TO IMPROVE YOUR
STATE, TO SEE THAT OUR COUNTRY LIVES UP TO ITS POTENTIAL. AND TO EASE THE SUFFERING OF
OTHERS. AND THAT’S TRULY, TRULY CAUSE
FOR CELEBRATION. SO, I APPRECIATE BEING A PART OF
THIS CELEBRATION TODAY. NOW, THE STUDENTS AND GRADUATES
HERE TODAY REALLY ARE THE STAR OF THE SHOW. WE ABSOLUTELY RESPECT THE
PARENTS AND THE FAMILY IN THIS ROOM TODAY. YOU LOVE YOUR STUDENTS.
AND YOU CHALLENGED YOUR LOVED ONES, AND YOU CHALLENGE THEM NOT
TO GIVE UP AND TO STAY ENCOURAGED. AS PART OF YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT
[INDISCERNIBLE] ON THE BELIEFS IN YOUR SYSTEM, AND THIS SYSTEM IN —
[INDISCERNIBLE] PART OF THE MOTIVATION IS FINANCIAL.
YOU KNOW THE LONGER THEY STAY, THE MORE IT COSTS. BUT IN ALL THE WAYS THAT YOU’VE
ENCOURAGED, YOU’VE ENCOURAGED THROUGH LOVE AND THROUGH YOUR
FAITH AND THEIR BELIEF TO STUDY HARD AND TO WORK HARD AND FOR THAT, I’M SURE THEY ARE
GREATLY APPRECIATIVE. YOU ALL HAVE BEEN THE HEAD
CHEERLEADERS AND YOU ARE SUCH A PART OF HOW THEY’VE BEEN ABLE TO
LIVE UP TO THE CHALLENGES THAT HAVE FACED THEM.
AND YOU ARE INDEED TO BE COMMENDED ON THIS, YOUR SPECIAL
DAY AS WELL. SO, GRADUATE, I’M SURE THERE ARE
SOME OF YOU WHO HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO
ONCE YOU FINISH THIS PLACE. BUT I’M HERE TO TELL YOU THAT’S
OKAY. BECAUSE I WANT TO TELL YOU THAT
WHEN I FINISHED LAW SCHOOL, I DIDN’T
EITHER. I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE AND NO
SENSE OF WHERE I WAS HEADED. BUT I KNOW ALL ALONG THE WAY
THAT YOU WILL MAKE US EXTREMELY PROUD. THE CHANCELLOR HAS TOLD YOU THAT
I WAS JUST RECENTLY APPOINTED AS THE
29th CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME
COURT OF NORTH CAROLINA BY GOVERNOR ROY COOPER. NOW, AS YOU CAN WELL IMAGINE
THAT WHEN I SAID IN MY OWN LAW SCHOOL
GRADUATION AND IT’S HARD FOR ME TO BELIEVE THAT IT WAS 28 YEARS AGO, THERE IS
ABSOLUTELY NO WAY THAT I COULD HAVE POSSIBLY KNOWN THAT MY PATH WOULD HAVE LED ME
TO BE A — [INDISCERNIBLE] HEAD CHIEF OF
JUDICIAL OFFICIALS AND THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA. AND, SO I SAY THAT TO YOU
BECAUSE YOUR PATH IS ALSO UNKNOWN. AND WHETHER YOU THINK YOU HAVE A
PLAN OR NOT, AND WHETHER YOU HAVE YOUR DREAM JOB LINED UP TO REPORT TO ON
MONDAY MORNING, YOU REALLY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA ABOUT WHAT’S
GOING TO COME NEXT. AND THE REALITY IS, YOU’RE NOT
SUPPOSED TO KNOW. I OFTEN SPEAK TO A LOT OF
GROUPS, YOUNG FOLKS, OLDER FOLKS, CIVICS GROUPS, AND
CHURCHES AND PROFESSIONAL GROUPS AND LAW GROUPS AND A BUNCH OF
OTHER FOLKS, ONE OF THE QUESTIONS I GET IS WHAT WOULD
YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF? I LOVE THAT QUESTION. BECAUSE THE REALITY IS I WOULD
TELL MY YOUNGER SELF ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. THE REALITY IS YOU HAVE TO LIVE
YOUR LIFE. AND YOU HAVE TO ACTIVELY LIVE
YOUR LIFE. AND I DON’T MEAN LIVING IT UP.
THAT MIGHT BE A PART OF LIVING YOUR LIFE.
BUT YOU HAVE TO REALLY BE PROACTIVE IN SEEKING THE
OPPORTUNITIES THAT COULD COME YOUR WAY, EVEN WHEN YOU MAY
NOT BE SURE THAT THE OPPORTUNITY IS FOR YOU. OR IF YOU HAVE ALL OF THE
ANSWERS, OR JUST THE THOUGHT OF THE OPPORTUNITY MAKES YOU
NERVOUS. IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT YOU SHOULD
NOT GO FOR THE OPPORTUNITY. IN FACT, THAT PROBABLY MEANS YOU
SHOULD GO FOR THE OPPORTUNITY. YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER WILL
BE FILLED WITH UNEXPECTED TURNS AND TWISTS ALONG THE WAY. LIVE THEM WITH JOY —
[INDISCERNIBLE] JOY AND SOME LESS SO.
I GUARANTEE IF THEY’RE HAPPY OR NOT SO HAPPY, SOME OF THE
CHALLENGES THAT COME YOUR LIFE WILL BE STRESSFUL, BUT CHANGE
AND TRANSITION AND GROWTH ALWAYS ARE. BUT I HOPE IN ALL OF THE THINGS
THAT YOU DO AND ALL OF THE WAYS THAT YOU MAKE YOUR EXPERIENCES COUNT, THAT
YOU’LL ALWAYS BE READY EVEN IF YOU’RE
NOT ABLE TO — DETERMINE WHAT READY REALLY MEANS TO CAPITALIZE
ON THAT NEXT OPPORTUNITY, WHATEVER IT IS, AND
HOW HOWEVER IT PRESENTS ITSELF. IT DOES MEAN THAT YOU MUST — YOU MUST MUSTER THE COURAGE TO
SEIZE THE MOMENT. AND AT TIMES THE OPPORTUNITY
REALLY MAY BE FOR YOU REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU
MAY SAY. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT THERE’S
A REASON THAT YOU CAME HERE TO
NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY FOR
YOUR GRADUATE DEGREES, TO EXCEL, AND
TO KNOW THAT — [INDISCERNIBLE] TO DO GOOD BY SOMEBODY ELSE.
NOW, YOU MAY PERCEIVE THAT SOMEBODY ELSE IS SMARTER OR HAS AN ADVANTAGE
OVER YOU IN SOME WAY. OR MAYBE PRETTIER, MORE
HANDSOME, OR HAVE THIS CONNECTION OR THAT. AND I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT
OFTEN IT’S THOSE KINDS OF THINGS THAT ALLOW US TO TALK OURSELVES
OUT OF PURSUING THINGS THAT REALLY MIGHT BE THE
OPPORTUNITIES FOR US. BUT JUST WHAT IF — WHAT IF YOU
DECIDE TO OFFER YOURSELF AND TO GIVE IT ALL YOU’VE GOT, YOU
ABSOLUTELY AMAZE YOURSELF. BECAUSE THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE
COME WHEN YOU’RE WILLING TO TAKE A CHANCE. NOT TO PLAY IT SAFE.
AND AS LAWYERS, I WANT TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT HOW I SAY THIS. BUT YOU DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO
PLAY BY THE RULES EITHER. BECAUSE OFTEN THE RULES ARE
THERE TO — NOT TO ALLOW YOU TO REALLY REACH YOUR FULLEST
POTENTIAL. — OFTEN THE RULES ARE THERE TO
LIMIT YOU, NOT TO ALLOW YOU TO REACH YOUR FULLEST POTENTISH.
SO, THERE WILL BE OPPORTUNITIES ARISE OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR
LIVES THAT YOU COULD NEVER CONSIDER.
SO BE CAREFUL ABOUT CONSIDERING THOSE OPPORTUNITIES ONLY FOR
SOMEBODY ELSE. YOU WILL BE A PART OF THE
TRANSFORMATION OF YOUR CHOSEN SKILLS, AND THAT’S THE WAY IT’S
ABSOLUTELY SUPPOSED TO BE. YOU WILL MAKE THE BEST LAID
PLANS FOR YOUR LIVES AND IN MANY WAYS THOSE PLANS WILL RING TRUE.
BUT THERE ARE ALSO MANY TIMES THAT THOSE PLANS ARE ABSOLUTELY
UPSET AND THINGS WILL HAPPEN THAT ARE BEYOND YOUR CONTROL. YOUR DREAM JOB MAY SLIP THROUGH
YOUR FINGERS, BUT YOUR FALLBACK PLAN
COULD BE JUST THE THING THAT LEADS YOU TO
HOW YOU DISCOVER YOUR PASSION. JUST BE PREPARED. WORK HARD TO MAKE A GOOD
IMPRESSION EVERY DAY. AND ALWAYS PUT YOURSELF IN THE
PATH OF OPPORTUNITY. SO WHEN OPPORTUNITIES ARISE AND
YOU SEE FOLKS CALLING EVERYBODY UP AND SAYING — MAKE SURE THEY
THINK ABOUT CALLING YOUR NAME. BUT HONESTLY, EVEN WHEN THEY
DON’T, BECAUSE I CAN TELL YOU MY NAME HADN’T ALWAYS BEEN ON THE
LIST. DON’T BE CONFINED BY THE RULES. HAVE FAITH AND THE ABILITY THAT
THERE’S A REASON THAT YOU ARE HERE AND
THERE’S A REASON FOR YOU TO USE YOUR SERVICE AND SHOW UP AND DO
WHAT’S RIGHT. DO THE LITTLE THINGS LIKE
SHOWING UP ON TIME AND NOW — ON TIME REALLY
MEANS ABOUT 15 MINUTES EARLY. [ APPLAUSE ] AND I KNOW THAT SEEMS LIKE A
LITTLE THING, BUT THE REALITY IS, IF YOU LIKE WALK IN AT 10:30
AND THE MEETING STARTS AT 10:30, I PROMISE YOU A WHOLE LOT OF
STUFF HAS HAPPENED BEFORE YOU GOT THERE. IT’S HARD TO CATCH UP ON THAT
KIND OF THING. THE MEETING IS GOING ON, THAT’S
MEETING TIME. BUT THE RELATIONSHIP IS BEFORE
THE MEETING. AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU’RE
ALREADY — PROFESSIONALLY EVEN IN THE PROCESS OF TIME, AND I KNOW THAT’S
CHALLENGING. AND GOING TO — AND APPRECIATE
— [INDISCERNIBLE] AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES DO
YOU DISCOUNT YOUR ABILITY EVER, BECAUSE AFTER ALL, YOU’RE AN
EAGLE. AND EAGLES, IN FACT, SOAR. BE RESPECTFUL AND KIND EVEN IN
THE MOST CHALLENGING OF TIMES. AND GO MEET PEOPLE, JOIN
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS, NOT JUST WITH YOUR NAME ON THE ROLL,
BUT REALLY BEING ACTIVE AND PARTICIPATE IN THOSE
ORGANIZATIONS. MOST OF THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT
YOU FIND — [INDISCERNIBLE] WILL NOT FALL IN YOUR LAP.
SO YOU MUST GO AFTER THEM. — YOUR FRIEND GROUP AND YOUR
PROFESSIONAL GROUP, BECAUSE YOU REALLY NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU’RE
PREPARING YOURSELF FOR. SO IF YOU’RE SERVING ON THE
LOCAL BOARD OR THE COMMISSION, DON’T THINK THAT YOU’RE NOT THE
ONE THAT OUGHT TO BE CALLED FOR THOSE KINDS OF THINGS. THE WORK IN THOSE KINDS OF
COMMISSIONS OR FRANKLY WHETHER OR NOT YOU’RE A SOFTBALL COACH
OR WHATEVER IT IS, YOU BE SURPRISED HOW THOSE THINGS MAKE
A DIFFERENCE BECAUSE OF THE CONNECTIVITY.
I’M SAYING THIS BECAUSE I’M A LITTLE OLDER AND CONNECTIVITY OF
PEOPLE MY AGE AND OLDER MAKE ME PICK UP THE PHONE, THE PEOPLE
WHO HIRE, PICK UP THE PHONE. SO, TRY IT.
PICK UP THE PHONE. YOU’LL SEND IN A LOT OF
APPLICATIONS, BUT YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU’RE CONNECTING WITH
SOMEBODY. SO IF YOU’RE OUT AND ABOUT AND
BUILDING THE RELATIONSHIPS AND NETWORKING, AND YOU NEED PEOPLE,
ASK TO HAVE COFFEE. AND DON’T JUST ASK TO HAVE
COFFEE AND WALK AWAY. SAY HOW ABOUT NEXT TUESDAY YOU
PULL OUT YOUR CELL PHONE OR YOUR CALENDAR.
AND I’M GOING TO TELL YOU THIS. I CAN SAY THIS TO A ROOM OF 50
MILLION PEOPLE, AND ONLY ABOUT 10 OF THEM WILL DO IT.
BUT IT’S A FEW WHO DO IT WHO DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES. AND EVERYBODY ELSE’S RESUMES ARE
SITTING ON THE PILE OF THE GATEKEEPER’S DESK, RIGHT? I’M CHIEF JUSTICE — I’M JUST
TELLING YOU WHAT I KNOW. SO, NOW MY LAWYER FRIENDS, I’M
EXCITED ABOUT ALL OF YOU. BUT I ALSO KNOW —
[INDISCERNIBLE] YOU ARE NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY LAW
GRADUATES AND YOU ARE WELL EQUIPPED TO PASS THIS LAW EXAM.
[ APPLAUSE ] AND I KNOW OTHERS OF YOU HERE
HAVE PROFESSIONAL EXAMS AND SO WHAT I’M ABOUT TO SAY IS FOR YOU
AS WELL. DO NOT LET FEAR SHUT YOU DOWN.
IT’S OKAY TO BE AFRAID. BUT USE FEAR AS A MOTIVATOR.
AND SOMETIMES WHAT WE DO WHEN WE’RE AFRAID IS WE ISOLATE
OURSELVES, BECAUSE WE THINK THAT SHE’S NOT GOING THROUGH IT AND
HE’S NOT GOING THROUGH IT, YOU HAVE TO COME TOGETHER.
YOU JUST GOT TO COME TOGETHER. I PROMISE YOU.
YOU KNOW YOU’VE BEEN WORKING HARD FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS OR SO, YOU
HAVE THIS EVENT COMING UP AND THIS EVENT IS COMING UP.
SOMEBODY IS GETTING MARRIED AND ALL OF THAT.
BUT YOUR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS HAVE BEEN ON AN ABBREVIATED
SCHEDULE FOR YOU FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS, I’M TELLING YOU, TWO
MORE MONTHS WILL NOT MATTER. YOU HAVE GOT TO MAKE THIS
LICENSING EXAM, WHATEVER IT IS, THE MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITY OF
YOUR LIFE. YOU JUST MUST DO IT.
AND IT IS DOABLE. AND WE CAN TALK SOME MORE ABOUT
THAT. I’M GLAD TO COME TO THE LAW
SCHOOL. BECAUSE THERE ARE REALLY SOME
THINGS WE COULD BE DOING NOW TO PREPARE FOR THE BAR EXAM.
[ APPLAUSE ] I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I TRULY
BELIEVE IN YOU. AND I KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO BE
THE LEADERS IN YOUR PROFESSION WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE A MASTER’S IN JAZZ
STUDIES OR EDUCATION OR A JUST DOCTORATE
IN LAW. BUT REALLY AS LEADERS, WE’RE NOT
LEADING FOR OURSELVES BUT WE’RE LEADING THOSE AROUND US. AND ALL OF YOU WILL BE LEADERS
IN OUR PROFESSION AND — [INDISCERNIBLE] IN OUR
PROFESSION AND YOUR COMMUNITY. LET ME TELL YOU THIS, LEADERSHIP
MEANS YOU MUST BE WILLING TO STAND FOR THE TRUTH. AND THE TRUTH AIN’T ALWAYS EASY,
Y’ALL, SO IT TAKES COURAGE TO STAND FOR
THE TRUTH. IT TAKES COURAGE TO STAND FOR
WHAT’S RIGHT. GOOD LEADERS WILL BE PEOPLE WHO
WILL BE DEPENDENT UPON YOU. YOU CANNOT BE AFRAID TO ASK,
WHY? SO, WHEN NORTH CAROLINA, 85% —
BY THE FOURTH GRADE, WE MUST ALL ASK WHY. WHEN ONE IN FIVE CHILDREN IN THE
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA IS HUNGRY,
THESE ARE OUR BABIES. AND I DON’T CARE WHAT YOUR
PROFESSION IS, YOU’VE GOT TO ASK AS A LEADER, WHY IS THIS? AND WITH THE ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE
AND SKILLS AND SCHOLARSHIP THAT YOU’VE OBTAINED, HOW IS IT THAT YOU
COULD FIX THESE KINDS OF ISSUES IN OUR COMMUNITY.
I KNOW YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR FAMILIES AND YOUR
COMMUNITIES, AND AS LEADERS, YOUR PASSION WILL BE WONDERFULLY
TRANSFORMED. AND IN THAT TRANSFORMATION, YOU
WILL BE EMPOWERED. AND WHEN YOU’RE EMPOWERED, WE
HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EMPOWER OTHERS.
EMPOWER TO LEAD. AND EMPOWER TO PLANT, TO PLANT
SEEDS OF HOPE. SEEDS OF TRUST. SEEDS OF GOODNESS, AND SEEDS OF
LEGACY. AND WHEN YOU PLANT THESE SEEDS,
YOU GIVE PEOPLE THE COURAGE TO SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. ABOUT IMPORTANT ISSUES THAT WE
KNOW ARE REALLY IMPORTANT FOR OUR COMMUNITIES. AND THE OTHER THING WE KNOW IS
THAT OUR VOICES ARE OFTEN OUR BEST WEAPON.
IT’S IMPORTANT TO SPEAK THE TRUTH. THERE ARE A WHOLE LOT OF THINGS
THAT HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED AND WE NEED YOU FOR YOUR INNOVATION,
YOUR CREATIVITY, AND YOUR COMMITMENT.
THERE WILL BE SUCCESSES BECAUSE OF YOU, EVEN IN WHAT FEELS LIKE
A SETBACK. AND YOU WILL LEAD AND YOU WILL
SET THE STANDARDS FOR ALL OF US. AND WHERE WE HAVE A MORAL DUTY,
YOU WILL BE THERE TO HELP US TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE MUST INVEST
IN OTHERS, THAT WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH AND TO HEAL
AND TO PROTECT. AND WHERE WE NEED PATIENCE AND
CIVILITY AND HARD WORK, YOUR WORK AND COMMITMENT WILL NOT BE
IN VAIN. THE EDUCATION YOU RECEIVE HERE
AT NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY WILL CARRY YOU FAR
AND YOU WILL INDEED SOAR. WITH YOUR SPIRIT, YOU WILL NOT
BE DETERRED, AND YOU WILL
FINISHFINISH — YOU WILL RUN THIS RACE AND YOU WILL FINISH AT
THE TOP. AND FOR YOUR HARD WORK AND
PASSION, YOU WILL ALL BE A BETTER — A BETTER STATE, A
BETTER COMMUNITY, A BETTER NATION, AND A BETTER WORLD. SO WHATEVER YOU DO NEXT, AND
WHEREVER YOUR PATHS TAKE YOU, PLEASE KNOW THAT ALL OF YOUR NORTH CAROLINA
CENTRAL UNIVERSITY FAMILY SHARE, THE
CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF NORTH CAROLINA, AND ALL
OF THOSE AROUND YOU WILL BE SO VERY PROUD OF YOU AND WILL BE
EXCITED ABOUT WHAT THE NEXT CHAPTER IN YOUR LIVES BRING.
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU. [ APPLAUSE ] ] ]
CHIEF JUSTICE BEASLEY, YOU ARE AN INSPIRATIONAL LEADER, NOT
ONLY FOR THOSE WHO SEEK TO FOLLOW THE PATH IN THE LEGAL
PROFESSION, BUT OUR GRADUATES WHO ARE MOTIVATED BY YOUR QUEST TO BE AN
INNOVATOR AND BREAK BARRIERS THAT EXIST JUST LIKE YOU. WE APPRECIATE THE WORDS TO OUR
GRADUATES. GIVE CHIEF JUSTICE BEASLEY A
ROUND OF APPLAUSE. THANK YOU. BEFORE WE MOVE TO THE NEXT PART
OF OUR PROGRAM, IT’S MY PLEASURE TO RECOGNIZE AN INDIVIDUAL WHO
IS AN ALUMNUS OF OUR LAW SCHOOL. A FAMOUS LAWYER, ATTORNEY, WHO’S
WELL KNOWN ACROSS THE COUNTRY. AND HE’S HERE TODAY.
HIS GRAND DAUGHTER IS ALSO GRADUATING FROM OUR LAW SCHOOL
TODAY. SO, IT IS MY PLEASURE TO
RECOGNIZE ALUMNUS WILLIE GARY.
WILL YOU PLEASE STAND — AND HIS WIFE. WILL YOU PLEASE STAND, THANK
YOU. YOUR GRAND DAUGHTER IS ALSO
FOLLOWING IN THE FAMILY TRADITION. AT THIS TIME WE WILL NOW PRESENT
THE CANDIDATES FOR HONORARY DEGREES. IT IS MY PRIVILEGE TO PRESENT
NORTH CAROLINA CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE
SUPREME COURT, THE HONORABLE CHERI
BEASLEY THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF HUMANE LETTERS. AS YOU HEARD, SHE’S A
DISTINGUISHED SERVANT LEADER WHO’S IMPACTED
HUMANITY, SOCIETY, AND FOR THE PUBLIC,
THROUGH HER WORK AS A LAWYER, A JUDGE, AND NOW CHIEF JUSTICE IN
THE SUPREME COURT OF NORTH CAROLINA. IN HONOR OF HER EXCEPTIONAL
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, OUTSTANDING RECORD OF
NUMEROUS LAUDABLE MERITS ON THE LOCAL, REGIONAL, AND NATIONAL LEVEL, AND
DISTINCTION AS THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHIEF
JUSTICE OF NORTH CAROLINA, IT IS MY
PLEASURE TO AWARD THE HONORABLE CHERI
BEASLEY, THE DEGREE. WOULD YOU PLEASE COME FORWARD.
THE DEGREE OF HUMANE LETTERS. [ APPLAUSE ] I WANT TO READ WHAT THE CITATION
SAYS IN PART. THE CITATION READS — THE HONORABLE CHERI BEASLEY,
CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE NORTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT, YOU ARE
RESPECTED FOR YOUR COMPREHENSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LAW AND
DEDICATION TO THE TRUTH. YOU MADE HISTORY IN MARCH, 2019,
WHEN YOU WERE NAMED AS NORTH CAROLINA’S FIRST FEMALE
AFRICAN-AMERICAN SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE, BECOMING ONLY THE
FOURTH FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHIEF JUSTICE IN THE UNITED
STATES. IN THAT CAPACITY AND THROUGH
YOUR ROLE AS A LECTURER FOR STUDENTS AT
NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW AND THE
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF LAW, YOU HAVE IGNITED
SPARKS OF ENCOURAGEMENT IN MANY
ASPIRING ATTORNEYS AND JUDGES FROM DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS. FOR THESE AND OTHER ADMIRABLE
ACHIEVEMENTS, WE BESTOW UPON YOU THIS HONOR TODAY. PRESENTED ON THIS DAY, THE 10H
OF MAY IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND NINETEEN.
SIGNED BY MYSELF, DR. JOHNSON O. AKINLEYE, CHANCELLOR, AND MR.
GEORGE R. HAMILTON, CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF
TRUSTEES. CONGRATS TO CHIEF JUSTICE
BEASLEY. CONGRATULATIONS.
[ APPLAUSE ] PLEASE JOIN ME IN GIVING JUSTICE
BEASLEY ANOTHER ROUND OF APPLAUSE.
CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU. ALL STUDENTS WHO ARE GRADUATING
WITH HONORS WILL NOW BE RECOGNIZED.
WILL ALL STUDENTS GRADUATING WITH HONORS PLEASE STAND. [ APPLAUSE ] NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL
UNIVERSITY IS PROUD TO CONGRATULATE ALL OF ITS
GRADUATES AND TO OFFER GRATITUDE TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE MADE THIS
DAY A MOMENTOUS OCCASION FOR THEM.
WE PAUSE NOW TO ESPECIALLY RECOGNIZE THOSE STUDENTS WHO
HAVE EXCELLED ACADEMICALLY, PLACING THEM IN THE SPECIAL
CLASSIFICATION OF HONOR STUDENTS.
TO YOU, HONOR STUDENTS, WE SAY THANKS FOR YOUR HIGH ACADEMIC
ACHIEVEMENT. WE CELEBRATE THAT ACHIEVEMENT AS
YOU FULFILL THE ESSENTIAL PURPOSE OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND
INSPIRE THOSE WHO FOLLOW YOU. AGAIN, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR
OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AND MAY YOU CONTINUE TO SOAR
HIGH WITH THE EAGLES. THANK YOU.>>CHANCELLOR, IT IS MY
PRIVILEGE TO REPORT TO YOU THAT THE CANDIDATES HERE ASSEMBLED HAVE QUALIFIED IN ALL
RESPECTS FOR DEGREES BY SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETING
CURRICULA OFFERED BY THE SEVERAL GRADUATE AND
PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS OF NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY,
AND HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED BY THE REGISTRAR AND RECOMMENDED BY
THE FACULTY AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES TO BE AWARDED THE APPROPRIATE GRADUATE
AND PROFESSIONAL DEGREES. WOULD THE SUMMA CUM LAUDE
CANDIDATES FOR THE DEGREES OF MASTER OF ARTS, MASTER OF MUSIC,
MASTER OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK, MASTER OF SCIENCES, MASTER OF BUSINESS
ADMINISTRATION, MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING, MASTER OF
EDUCATION, MASTER OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION,
MASTER OF INFORMATION SCIENCE, MASTER OF LIBRARY SCIENCE, AND
JURIS DOCTOR PLEASE STAND AND REMAIN STANDING? APPLAUSE [ APPLAUSE ] WOULD THE MAGNA CUM LAUDE
CANDIDATES IN THOSE SAME DEGREE PROGRAMS STAND AND REMAIN
STANDING? WOULD THE CUM LAUDE CANDIDATES
IN THOSE SAME DEGREE PROGRAMS STAND AND REMAIN STANDING? WOULD ALL OTHER CANDIDATES FOR
THE SAME DEGREE PROGRAMS PLEASE STAND AND REMAIN STANDING? IT IS WITH PLEASURE THAT I
PRESENT THESE CANDIDATES WHO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED ALL
THE REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION IN THEIR RESPECTIVE ACADEMIC
PROGRAMS. THEY HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED BY THE
REGISTRAR, APPROVED BY THE FACULTY AND THE BOARD OF
TRUSTEES, COMMENDED TO YOU FOR CONFERRAL OF PROFESSIONAL AND
GRADUATE DEGREES. UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE
FACULTY OF THE RESPECTIVE SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES OF THE
UNIVERSITY AND BY VIRTUE OF THE AUTHORITY INVESTED IN ME BY THE
BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY AND
BY THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, I DO HEREBY CONFER UPON EACH OF YOU THE DEGREE FOR WHICH YOU
HAVE QUALIFIED, WITH ALL THE RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES, AND
RESPONSIBILITIES THEREUNTO APPERTAINING.
CONGRATULATIONS. [ APPLAUSE ] PLEASE BE SEATED. TODAY, NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL
UNIVERSITY WILL AWARD A DOCTORAL DEGREE TO THE SIXTH STUDENT WHO
HAS EARNED A PH.D. IN INTEGRATED BIOSCIENCES. AT THIS TIME, I WOULD LIKE TO
ASK DR. JALEH REZAIE, ASSOCIATE PROVOST AND DEAN OF THE SCHOOL
OF GRADUATE STUDIES, TO COME FORWARD AND PRESENT OUR PH.D.
CANDIDATE AND HIS ADVISOR. WILL THE CANDIDATE FOR THE
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN THE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES,
ALONG WITH HER ADVISOR, PLEASE APPROACH THE PLATFORM. CONGRATULATIONS, PLEASE BE
SEATED. WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR MASTER
DEGREES IN ALL COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS, PLEASE STAND, TURN AND
HOOD THE PERSON TO YOUR RIGHT. 467 THANK YOU, PLEASE BE SEATED. DR. CARLTON WILSON, DEAN OF
COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES, PLEASE COME FORWARD.
GOOD AFTERNOON. WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR MASTER
OF ARTS, MASTER OF MUSIC AND MASTER OF SCIENCE IN THE COLLEGE
OF ARTS AND SCIENCES PLEASE MOVE TO THE PLATFORM. [ APPLAUSE ] [CONFERRING DEGREES] DR. DEBRA PARKER, DEAN OF THE
COLLEGE OF BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES PLEASE COME FORWARD. WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR MASTER
OF ARTS, MASTER OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, MASTER OF
SCIENCE, AND MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK IN THE COLLEGE OF BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
4R [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONNELLER IFFING [CONFERRING DEGREES] .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
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. [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] DR. ANTHONY NELSON, DEAN OF THE
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, PLEASE COME FORWARD. WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR THE
MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PLEASE MOVE TO
THE PLATFORM. [CONFERRING DEGREES] DR. AUDREY BEARD, DEAN OF THE
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, PLEASE COME FORWARD. WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR THE
MASTER OF ARTS, MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING, MASTER OF SCHOOL
ADMINISTRATION AND MASTER OF SCIENCE IN THE SCHOOL OF
EDUCATION, PLEASE MOVE TO THE PLATFORM. [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] CONFERRING DEGREES. [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] CONGRATULATIONS. CONGRATULATIONS, PLEASE BE
SEATED. DR. JON GANT, DEAN OF THE SCHOOL
OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCES, PLEASE COME FORWARD. WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR THE
MASTER OF INFORMATION SCIENCE AND MASTER OF LIBRARY SCIENCE
PLEASE MOVE TO THE PLATFORM? [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THE
MASTERS’ RECIPIENTS. [ APPLAUSE ] GOOD AFTERNOON.
[ APPLAUSE ] YES.
YES. YES. LEGAL EAGLES. LEGAL EAGLES, CLASS OF 2019.
IT’S YOUR TIME. [ APPLAUSE ]
IT’S YOUR TIME. WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR THE
JURIS DOCTOR DEGREE IN THE NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW PLEASE
STAND, TURNTURN, AND HOOD THE PERSON TO YOUR RIGHT! IF I MAY, THIS CLASS — THIS
CLASS IS A VERY UNIQUE CLASS. IT IS LIKE NO OTHER CLASS THAT
HAS GRADUATED FROM THE SCHOOL OF LAW. THEY HAVE EXCELLED IN EVERY
AREA. THEY HAVE PASSED THE TEST. THEY ARE OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST
CLASS EVER. [ APPLAUSE ] THEY WILL MAKE HISTORY AS THEY
ALREADY HAVE IN YOUR LIFE.
YES YOU WILL. PLEASE MOVE TO THE STAGE. [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] [CONFERRING DEGREES] THANK YOU, LEGAL EAGLES! LAST ONE. WOULD ALL GRADUATES WHO HAVE
RECEIVED THEIR DEGREE AT THESE EXERCISES PLEASE STAND TO BE
RECOGNIZED WITH ONE LAST ROUND OF APPLAUSE?
GIVE THEM A ROUND OF APPLAUSE. CONGRATULATIONS!
CONGRATULATIONS! CONGRATULATIONS! CONGRATULATIONS!
PLEASE BE SEATED. AT THIS TIME, MR. SAMUEL COOPER,
PRESIDENT OF THE NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY ALUMNI
ASSOCIATION, WILL NOW CONDUCT THE INDUCTION CEREMONY FOR THE
SPRING 2019 GRADUATES. MR. COOPER? GOOD AFTERNOON.
Y’ALL CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS. Y’ALL JUST GRADUATED.
GOOD AFTERNOON! ON BEHALF OF NORTH CAROLINA
CENTRAL UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
AND THE 38,000 FELLOW EAGLES IN EAGLE
LAND OUT THERE, WE CONGRATULATE YOU AND WISH YOU THE BEST OF
LUCK IN THE FUTURE. THERE’S ONE POINT I WANT TO
MAKE. DURING THE CHIEF JUDGE’S
REMARKS, SHE SAID ONE THING TO YOU AND YOU
REALLY NEED TO TAKE HEED. SHE SAID BE TO WORK ON TIME.
THAT’S WHERE THE NEGOTIATING STARTS.
THAT’S WHERE THE NETWORKING STARTS. SO BE THE WORK ON TIME. AS ALUMN OF NORTH CAROLINA
CENTRAL UNIVERSITY, YOUR FIRST YEAR’S MEMBERSHIP IN THE
ASSOCIATION IS FREE. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS VISIT THE
WEBSITE AND SIGN UP. THIS IS BEING THE WORK ON TIME. ALUMNI IS OUT THERE TO HELP YOU.
WE ARE NETWORKING FORCE TO TAKE YOU TO THE NEXT LEVEL. SO JOIN THE ORGANIZATION, I
DON’T CARE WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO BE IN THE WORLD, THERE’S AN
ALUMN THERE THAT WILL HELP YOU. SO IF YOU — WE’LL TAKE THE
PLEDGE IF YOU STAND. AND YOU CAN FIND THE PLEDGE ON
THE LAST PAGE — NEXT TO THE LAST PAGE OF THE PROGRAM. REPEAT AFTER ME. I HEREBY SOLEMNLY SWEAR UNBROKEN
ALLEGIANCE TO MY ALMA MATER IN APPRECIATION FOR THE OPPORTUNITIES AFFORDED
ME AS A STUDENT AT NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY. I PLEDGE ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP IN
THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, WHEREVER I MAY BE. THROUGH ASSOCIATION WITH MY
FELLOW ALUMNI, I COULD NEVER DO MY BEST
TO UPHOLD THE IDEALS AND TRADITIONS OF MY ALMA MATER. I PLEDGE AS A CITIZEN TO
EXEMPLIFY THE HIGH IDEALS THUS IMPLIED
[INDISCERNIBLE] ALWAYS, RENDERING POSITIVE
SERVICE TO COMMUNITYCOMMUNITY, STATE, AND NATION. AND AS EVER TO BRING HONOR AND
RESPECT TO MY ALMA MATER. CONGRATULATIONS.
[ APPLAUSE ] PLEASE BE SEATED. WE’RE ALMOST DONE.
YOU’RE THERE. YOU’RE ALMOST THERE. AS WE GET READY TO CONCLUDE THIS CEREMONY, WE WANT TO REMIND YOU
THAT AS OF TODAY, YOU’VE SECURED AN ADVANCED DEGREE AND TRAINING AND WILL
TRANSITION AWAY FROM THE SACRED GROUNDS OF NORTH CAROLINA
CENTRAL UNIVERSITY. PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO THINK ABOUT WHAT YOUR NEW ROLE WILL BE IN OUR LARGER SOCIETY, AS YOU GO
FORWARD ARMED WITH ANOTHER ACADEMIC CREDENTIAL THAT WILL OPEN NEW DOORS TO YOUR SUCCESS, BUT ONLY IF YOU REMAIN HUMBLE,
FOCUSED AND COMMITTED TO A LIFELONG QUEST OF LEARNING. THERE HER HERE IS MY CHARGE TO YOU — BE
AN AGENT OF CHANGE AND DOER OF GOOD. HELP BRIDGE THE GAP OF
INEQUALITIES THAT EXIST IN OUR COMMUNITIES. USE THE DEGREE IN WAYS THAT
ELEVATE NCCU. LEVERAGE YOUR TALENT TO MOVE OUR
NATION FORWARD. REMEMBER THAT HATE AND BIGOTRY
HAVE NO PLACE IN OUR SOCIETY. BRING CIVILITY AND CARE BACK TO
OUR WORLD. THE TIME IS NOW.
OUR FUTURE IS IN YOUR HANDS. GRADUATES, CONGRATULATIONS! WE BID YOU FAREWELL.
LOOK BACK, COME BACK, AND GIVE BACK TO YOUR ALMA MATER.
CONGRATULATIONS, AGAIN. STAND FOR THE SINGING OF THE
ALMA MATER? [SINGING] ♫♫ THE SLOPING HILLS THE VERDANT
GREEN THE LOVELY BLOSSOMS BEAUTEOUS
SHEEN ♫♫ SURROUND OUR COLLEGE PROUD AND GAY WHERE WAVE OUR COLORS, MAROON AND GRAY
♫♫ WHAT MATTERS IT HOW FAR WE ROAM
OUR THOUGHTS WILL OF THE RETURN TO
HOME ♫♫ AND HEARTS WILL EVERY BE TRUE TO
THEE OUR ALMA MATER, NCC ♫♫ THEN RAH, RAHRAH FOR OUR COLORS
SO GAY ♫♫ ♫♫ DEAR OLD NCC’S MAROON AND
GRAY THY SONS AND DAUGHTERS WILL HONOR
THEE DEAR OLD NCC ♫♫ MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU, MAY THE
LORD KEEP YOU, AND MAY THE LORD GIVE YOU HIS PEACE.
AMEN. CHANCELLOR AKINLEYE, WITH YOUR PERMISSION, I DECLARE OUR 133rd
COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES CLOSED. [ APPLAUSE ] [RECESSIONAL] ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ [RECESSIONAL] [RECESSIONAL] ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫ ♫♫