More than 3,800 students graduated from the university last week. Many of our graduates, speakers, honorees, and programs captured widespread media attention. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Noble Wilford spoke to graduates from the College of Communication and Information, former NPR anchor Ann Taylor spoke to graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences, and financial guru Dave Ramsey spoke to graduates from the College of Business Administration. Read on for an overview of last week’s news.
Spring Commencement 2014 News
With more than 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students receiving degrees from UT this spring, there are a lot of new Volunteer job-seekers on the market. UT’s Career Services said the outlook is increasingly positive. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers plan to increase hiring of college graduates by around 7.6 percent over last year. NACE’s estimates are from a recent survey of 1,015 employers from across the country.
“This is the best time on the planet to be graduating.” That was the message personal money-management expert and national radio personality Dave Ramsey underscored in his message to UT graduates on Friday. Ramsey, who graduated from UT in 1982 with a major in finance and real estate, was the guest speaker at the College of Business Administration’s commencement ceremony.
Earning a college degree is a time-consuming endeavor on its own, but Olaoluwapo Omoleke, a soldier in the US Army Reserve, managed to graduate with highest honors while deployed in Kuwait. Omoleke graduated last December with a bachelor’s degree in nursing through UT’s online RN-to-BSN program. He will walk in the College of Nursing’s commencement ceremony at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, May 10, in Thompson-Boling Arena.
Longtime NPR newscaster Ann Taylor urged graduates to “be smart, but also take a chance” in her commencement address at UT on Friday. Taylor, who graduated from UT with a degree in English in 1958, anchored NPR’s national newscasts within All Things Considered from 1989 until July of 2011. Taylor spoke at the College of Arts and Sciences commencement and offered graduates a laundry list of advice, which she called “Ann Taylor-isms.”
Siblings Todd and Amy Skelton share both a passion for the law and a passion for running. This week, both are sprinting toward the graduate school finish line. Todd is graduating in the dual JD/MBA program with concentrations in transaction and finance; Amy is getting her law degree.
More than 650 students attended Tuesday evening’s Aloha Oe ceremony, one of the university’s oldest graduation traditions, at Ayres Hall. The farewell service invited graduating seniors to gather one last time before their separate commencement ceremonies to say goodbye to the university and pledge their loyalty to UT. Soon-to-be-graduates light candles and pass the “Torch of Service” to their fellow seniors to inspire them to be leaders in their communities. The first Aloha Oe was held in May 1926 on Shields-Watkins Field and featured a muddy game of tug-of-war, students in grass skirts, and ukuleles.
As young children, siblings Goran and Nina Musinovic were forced to flee from their home in Sarajevo, Bosnia, during the civil war in Yugoslavia. Supporting each other along the way, they immigrated to America, overcame the language barrier, excelled as undergraduates at UT, and went on to study in the College of Law. Goran graduated in 2009 and today his sister, Nina, receives her law degree.
Lisa Harmon aims to reduce the stigma many military service members associate with seeking help for psychological and mental health needs. A licensed clinical social worker at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, Harmon also is a member of the inaugural graduating class of UT’s online Doctor of Social Work degree program.
Pulitzer Prize–winning science journalist John Noble Wilford has told some of the world’s biggest stories since he graduated from UT almost sixty years ago. The first walk on the moon. The search for life on Mars. The Challenger disaster. Wilford—who received the university’s sixth honorary doctorate and spoke at the College of Communication and Information commencement ceremony on Wednesday—won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for his reporting of science and space exploration and again in 1987 as part of the reporting team that covered the space shuttle Challenger disaster. His New York Times front-page story about the first walk on the moon in 1969 is the most widely used account of the historic event.