2021 Spring Commencement Ceremony | Business & Engineering and Technology
≫: ≫: Music playing. ≫: Campus of Western Carolina university. Sixteen months have passed since the last commencement ceremony at WCU. We are excited to celebrate our graduates on campus. Thank you for joining us.
I am joz Thompson. Thank you so much for joining us for our pre show coverage of undergraduate commencement ceremony for College of Business engineering technology professions. This class of students has experienced college had the most unique way possible. The class of 2021 has seen it all . ≫: I really want this NFL dream to come true. I don't know what
the word can I say, what word can I say? ≫: He took the office of Chancellor and he made it into something so much bigger. ≫: Beginning in the fall of 2018, the state. North Carolina will dramatically reduce tuition at three of our public universities.
≫: I can't wait to immerse my shelf in the total Western Carolina University experience, into meeting more members of my Catamount family. ≫: Not every day that someone gets dormer to named for them . ≫: Across the board of Western Carolina. ≫: That's why we have moved away from face-to-face classes to online learning and alternative methods whenever possible for the remainder of the spring semester. ≫: Neither of them attended WCU, she is certainly earned the right to be honorary Catamounts. ≫: ≫: He what he gives is out of his heart. There was a model for many of us to follow.
≫: Western Carolina University has a brand new vaccination clinic opened to assist with delivering it to people in the region ≫: Every student will walk across the stage, pick up their diploma, have a picture with the Chancellor and have their name announced. ≫: As you just saw lot has happened since these graduates started their journey at WCU four years ago, or maybe five or six years ago. It has taken some serious perseverance to make it through all of that. We are so excited to sell Brit them today. We have the perfect guest to get us started . Bryan Kinney join us this morning.
≫: Bryan what is in your reactions to the student's perseverance to make it through last year. ≫: Just watching that video, speaks so much about what these students have been through. I went through nothing like that during my four years here at Western. This floor full of purple behind us, these folks have been through a lot. Three are going to be great employest. Great
managers. They are going to be great leaders. I have incredible confidence in the future of this country because of what I see behind me ≫: Chancellor Brown what are you most excited for as we look forward to a new year this fall. ≫: This fall, we are going to be bringing students back. It will be like the fall of 2019. We are going to have football games, freshman runs. A great time. Students -- it is going
to be a great fall 2021. ≫: Thank you both for joining us today. We know you have a busy next couple of minutes. We will let you go. The students have had to have some serious grit over the last four years. They have not done it alone. Countless professors, staff and family members have been by their side for the last four years. We asked a few
of our students to write a letter to someone who had a signature any of can't impact on someone at WCU. ≫ VIDEO: I am about to e-mail you something, right quick. ≫: Okay. ≫: I want you to read it.
≫: Do I need to read it out loud? ≫: Yes, ma'am. ≫: Okay. Okay. All right. am ready. I am good to go. Debbie, I would like to express my gratitude for being one of your students. ≫: Dear Dr. Davis, thank you. ≫:
≫: You have given me so much of these past four years, whether that be a shoulder to cry on. ≫: A listening ear or even a punch to the gut in the form of a hard lesson. give me. ≫: I know that teachers like you are not easy to find. Each day you came to class with a smile on your face and kind encouraging words for each student ≫: As a mentor, you have helped me to reach new heights in both my academic career and in my community service endeavors. To help in bettering every one around me and help communities I serve.
≫: ≫: Again, thank you. Just doesn't seem like enough. But thank you for making my time at Western easier. Thank you for
being one of the reasons why it will be so hard to say good-bye to my undergraduate life ≫: Lauren, that is so sweet. You are going to make me cry. ≫: Thank you very much. And congratulations for you bro ≫: Thank you more. Because when I entered college, I was just quiet, never talked. Through people like you who help me open up and give my heart out to whatever I was doing, and to continuously better myself.
≫: James, I appreciate that. It has been such a gift to watch you walk this journey and to watch you develop as the young man, who is going to go out and make some dynamic changes in the world. ≫: This doesn't feel like enough. It really doesn't. I truly, truly appreciate you for everything, even at times where I was ready to quit and give up, you kept reminding me I was here for a purpose. That God always has a plan for me. I can't imagine what
it would have been like without you and your presence this my life. Again, thank you Dr. ≫: Hey there. I can't even believe here we are, ready for commencement already.
Grads, we are so proud of all you have accomplished during this crazy unpredictable year. You have demonstrated grit and resiliency. Persevered against obstacles and overcome challenges. You have looked ahead to step forward and make a difference in helping our entire community pull together and serve those in need. Today it commencement, it is time that we celebrate you and take this time to acknowledge all you have worked for and the goals you have achieved. I am so proud of you and truly honored to welcome you to your new role as Western alumni.
While it may be cliché to say commencement is the start of a new journey, it is also true take. With you the confidence and experience that you have learned here at WCU. To the families of our grads, thank you for sharing these great students, great people with us. I join you in being so proud of their accomplishments and equally their character. These grads have done so much to serve their communities and to lift up their fellow Catamounts.
I am grateful for every day with these students. Grads, congratulations again on behalf of the Brinson Honors College. Wherever you are today, know you are in our hearts and minds.
We are celebrating with you this important achievement. Do please keep in touch. You made a mark on this University. I am sure you will continue to do so. This is just the beginning of your journey as new WCU alumni . Go cats! ≫: Congratulations graduates on behalf of the -- I commend all of your hard work and efforts in achieving greatness in some of the most demanding fields of study at any institution in the world. Congratulations again graduates. I look forward to seeing you back on campus as alumni. As always, go Cats! ≫: Congratulations College of Business graduates. Completing
a college degree is challenging. By finishing your degree in a global pandemic, you have demonstrate add grit and determination that has never been demanded of our students. We could not be prouder of your perseverance, fortitude, resill yeans and commitment many we are living in uncertain times. There is a place for glue the world. You have all the tools you need to
make your way. Like our college motto states: You are ready to engage, ready to succeed, ready to work. If we have taught you anything about being business ready, you know that half the battle is showing up, stepping up, and demonstrating commitment. Be that person.
Whatever you do, give it 100%. Passion, curiosity, initiative, and a solid work ethic translate into the intellectual vitality demanded for success. My mother who was a first generation college student always valued education. She was a teacher herself and always impressed upon me that education is something that can never be taken away, once you have earned it. She inspired me to be grateful and reminded me constantly that education doesn't end with a diploma. Learning is a lifelong
endeavor. You have built the foundation to remain curious. You have developed the wisdom to question ideas and theories. You have earned an education worthy of gratd you toed. I challenge you to intngsally choose to be grateful every day and to express that gratefulness by continue toking learn. Congratulations class of 2021. What a year!, go Cats! ≫: There is no doubt it takes serious dedication to earn your college degree. For some, the degree is just the beginning.
It may have taken jazz click to land time at WCU. Once he found his home, he never looked back. ≫ VIDEO: Feels very refreshing to graduate. I spent, I graduated from high school in 2012. So after four different colleges and sif vent years of being in school, it feels very nice to finally be hitting that end goal. My name is jazz click.
My major is electrical engineering, with a minor in mathematics. I am originally from oh vert today Florida, a suburb of or land doe Florida I felt I was a little stuck in Florida. I ended up going to the university of central Florida, right down the street from my high school.
Didn't feel like I was really growing that much. So I needed to, I needed a change of pace. ≫: He is a non traditional student amount transfer student. When he began his college journey way back when, I believe he was at the university of central Florida. And it was not the right fit for him.
So he left UCF and found his way to AB Tech in Asheville where he spent time and got his associate's degree. ≫: Initially, I was introduced to Western as a student at AB Tech. Dr. Hugh Jack came and spoke to our fun today mentales of engineering class and came and briefly spoke about some of the engineering programs that were accredited at Western Carolina University as well as the new NC promise that had taken place ≫: Jazz was an aspect doonltd the learn program in the academic year 2018 and 20189. I first met jazz through a paper application.
His application stood out to us. From there, we interviewed him for a position in the program. And he just nailed it. He did such a phenomenal job in his application and interview. We offered him a position. He one of about 20
other students to be afforded a scholarship nunl the learn program to conduct research. ≫: Otis elevators. In personally had with Otis elevators, I spoke with two people on the engineering team. And they immediately jumped to the part on my resume that I had included about my learn project that and was almost exclusively what the topic of my interview was for an hour. I directly attribute my research done in learn to getting that job, or the getting the interview with Otis that ultimately lead to getting the job with Otis as well ≫: I don't see that jazz is going to falter in his next steps.
He has really graced that academic rig gore in trying to see how it transfers into every element of his life. He has graced the Catamount community, which I know is sometimes very difficult for transfer students to do, especially since they are here for a short amount of time. I think that he has really leaned in on his community here at Western, his community amongst the stem professionals he has been in contact with since he has been here with Western. If he leans on that and remembers where his roots are, he will always be successful. ≫: We do have jazz with us here today. Jazz, tell us, how are you feeling about the graduation, big day today? ≫: I am feeling a little bit nervous. But extremely excited.
It is pretty surreal to be here in front of the stage with all the other graduates dressed up after such a long journey. ≫: You mentioned this your video, next step is with Otis elevators. Tell us about the research you did within the learn program.
≫: With the learn program, I started off doing research towards a practical design project N conjunction with physical therapy department, right across the street with Dr. Ashley Hyatt and Dr. Martin ta knock chasm I worked on constructing a heel strike construction device to help with gait rehabilitation. Kept reiterating that until it was something nearly useable ≫: Thank you so much jazz for joining us today. Congratulations on get nothing to this monumentsal moment.
≫: Our commencement speaker Thomas golden was taught to leave a place better than where he found it. That's just what he did ≫: I don't think it was my intention to be who I am now. If you would have asked me freshman year do you think you would have found your smefl the position you are, I would have said no. I have said to people I have talked to college is like 10%, school and 90 outside the classroom. You are in school maybe eight hours of the whole week. So it is on you what you want to do with it.
It is not so much the learning as it is just becoming a better person in college. Yeah. taught to me. That's the way I tell other people . ≫: Thomas is current president of alpha phi alpha fraternity incorporated. He is I believe secretary of the blak student union. He has this real genuine helping spirit. He doesn't want
anything from it. He wants this place to be better than what he arrived to. ≫: I came here to be a teacher. I had a really good teaching program.
My father wanted know go to construction management table. I felt like it way us a calling of some sort. Being a minority in this major is hard. It is hard enough as it is. Being a minority where ask it about one to two in your class is hard. There was a black kid that helped me until he graduated. I
wanted to be there mentor, whereas not just being Black and class, being Black in the field. So, yes, creating a support group for everybody to help them get internships or hopefully land them in jobs no show other kids that they can be Black and in this major as well ≫: Slowly as he got more confidence and the university and got more confidence in himself, these has been at the for front, trying to change thing at Western to maybe it better for all students, not just our African American, but all students on campus. I appreciate most about him is that he will call out administration.
But he will also call out his fellow students as well from. His perspective wrong is wrong and right is right. Because he truly cares about Western. He cares about the student life at WCU. ≫: I was very blessed.
Not a lot of Black kids grow up upper middle class. Both parents went to college, doing very well for themselves. My parents instilled this my and my siblings to be the voice. You have this platform for a reason. It is on you to use in whatever capacity ≫: I think people can learn a lot as far as standing up for what you believe in. Be true to your core values. Always try to seek for, seek knowledge for understanding. And not just to respond.
He took a lot of risks at Western. It paid off for him. Extremely proud of him. I am going to miss him. to get him to get a Playstation 5 so we can play online so we can be friends after he graduates. We will see ≫: When I got the commencement speaker for my graduation day, my father said, my college career is one for the books. I don't know about that specifically. I
was taught to leave a place better than you found it. Hopefully I did that at my time here at Western. In whatever way I can tribute, whatever way I can lead, that's what I did. ≫: [Applause.] ≫: We do have Thomas here with us today. So, Thomas, what
does it feel like to finally be here at graduation in person? ≫: It is crazy. I am going to be honest with you. It doesn't feel real yet. I have been waiting for it to hit. not hit yet. I am good right now
≫: With the being speaker of graduation dark you want to give us a nearing speak. ≫: Well, it has been talked about in other commencement ceremonies, resilience and the challenge of obstacles we faced. Woo we not only had to deal with COVID, we lost a Chancellor. How we rebounded.
≫: Can you talk about how exciting it was when you got the notification that you were going to be named commencement speaker ? ≫: I didn't think I got it. They said they were going to let us know by Friday. Friday came and went. I was like, oh, I didn't get it. I was working on a cap stone project. I got the call. I
was over joyed. I feel very blessed. ≫: Thank you Thomas. Thank you all of you for joining us as we celebrate our 2021 spring graduates. We have waited so long for this day. We couldn't be more excited for what is to come. Be
sure to check out all of our amazing features at commencement -- enjoy today's ceremony. As always, go Cats! ≫: Music playing. ≫: Music playing. ≫: Chancellor Brown, the graduating students have now assembled 2021 spring commencement exercises, colleges of business and engineering technology. ≫: [Applause.]
≫: Lease silent reflection on this special meaning of this day. Thank you. Please now join in singing the National Anthem, led by Fletcher ham Lyn a junior in the music program in the School of Music.
≫: National Anthem. Oh say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we held, as at the twilight last gleaming. Whose bright stripes and bright stars, through the peril oust fight, or the ram part we watch were so gallantly streaming.
And the rock the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof Through the Night that our that our flag was still there. Or the land of the free, and the home of the brave. Paragraph. ≫: [Applause. ] ≫: Thank you ham Lynn. now be seated. Graduates and distinguished guests, it is a pleasure and honor to welcome each of you to the 2021 undergraduate spring ceremony for students in the College of Business and engineering and technology, at Western Carolina University.
Before we begin today's ceremony, you may notice some changes at odds with our signage on campus and in light of governor Cooper's announcement Friday afternoon, we are glad to accommodate and welcome our general admission guests. We ask that our audience to maintain physical distancing, wherever possible, from those not in their party. Please allow know recognize members of the platform party who do not have speaking roles in the commencement program. I ask them to stand and remain standing as I call their names. Please hold your applause until I have introduced them all. First, members of the Western Carolina University's Board of Trustees, Mr. Bob Roberts, vice chair.
Mrs. Rebecca slosher secretary. Mrs. Next, our WCU administrative staff, Dr. Sam Miller, advise Chancellor for student affairs. Mr. Mike Byers administration for administration and finance. Mrs. Jamie ray non interim advise Chancellor for advancement. Representing all students Mr.
Dawson Spencer past president of the student government association. Representing all faculty, Dr. Kadence Otto Faculty Senate Chair. And representing all staff, Mr. Ben pendry Staff Senate chair. Please join me in recognizing these institutional leaders. ≫: [Applause.]
≫: Mr. Bryant Kinney will now bring greetings from the board. ≫: Thank you, Chancellor Brown. And thank you to today's
graduates, your families, to our alumni, to university leadership, to this University's distinguished faculty and staff, my fellow trustees and members of the platform party. It is migrate pleasure to bring greetings, congratulations and well wishes from all the members of the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees. Congratulations graduates, you made it, even this year.
We are proud of you. During the past few years in Cullowhee I know you have developed lifelong friendships and meb memories. Over the past year some of were made on Zoom or WebEx. You have
persevered. You have overcome obstacles. I could never have imagined any of those when I walked across this stage just a fuse decades ago.
In doing so, you have received a great education. And helped prepare you for what life brings your way. But you have developed a sense of determination. That determination will increase your will to succeed.
Now, you get to go out and truly show the world what you can do. You are our future. The future of this wonderful mountain region, the great state of North Carolina, our nation, and our world. So, no pressure. We are depending on you guys, we really are. I am confident, you
will not let us down, as you have proven over these past, more than 12 months now, that you can manage through a pandemic, you can manage through anything. If you have ever wondered what the Board of Trustees does, I want you to know best part of this job is bragging. Just like your parents, spouses, grandparents, siblings, friends, all of those around you today or joining us virtually, we brag about you a lot. We brag about your successes in the classroom and undergraduate research, and community service.
We brag about being players of the week for various so con sports. About your artwork and about your performances. Your achievements reinforce our pride in this University. Thank you. For all you do.
But more importantly, thank you for what you will do to make us proud. Because we all are truly very proud of you. Thank you. ≫: [Applause. ≫: Thank you Mr. Kinney. We certainly appreciate your participation in our ceremony in bringing greetings from the Board of Trustees.
≫: Mr. Philip Byers will now bring greetings from the board and the office of the president. ≫: Always make your Chancellor nervous because I go off script. She is getting used to it.
How many of you, I would ask a quick question, tie graduated from this wonderful university, Graduate School in 1999. With a master's of public affairs. How many of you were born in 1999? Have a good day. Congratulations. A little offshoot from my dear friend chair Kinney ask if any of you know what the Board of Trustees do here, if any of you know what the board of governor's do, please catch me after this. I
certainly would like to know. Greetings from UNC Board of Governors. And the entire system board staff. To our graduates and families and friends, WCU alumni, Chancellor Kelli Brown, and the Board of Trustees T university's faculty and staff and members of this platform party. It is an honor and pleasure for me to bring a messaging of greetings and congratulations from UNC system president Peter Hahns the staff of the UNC office, UNC board governor chair Randy Ramsey and all of my fellow members of UNC Board of Governors. It is a delight to look around and see the joy in your eyes and your family members and friends, and to share that excitement with you.
Collectively, we acknowledge the long hours and hard work it took for you to get to this point. We honor you today for the commitment you have demonstrated to better your life by obtaining your degree. In doing so, you not only have done something important for yourself and your families, but you have also accomplished something that improves the community and our entire world. As individuals each of you has much to celebrate. But Western Carolina University is reaching great milestones as well.
I want to mention a few of those: First I would be resumes if I did not mention the dynamic leadership provided by your Chancellor Kelli Brown who is getting to experience first time a spring graduation as the pandemic prevented us from having these events last year. I would ask that you join me, because since her arrival, I was honored to be part of the committee that helped hire and bring Chancellor Brown to this great university. I want you to join me. I can tell you as a boards of governors, we are extremely impressed with where this university is going and the leadership of your Chancellor. Please join me in saying thank you.
≫: [Applause.] ≫: I know Chancellor Brown has been very impressed by Western Carolina faculty and staff and their dedication to student's academics and overall student experience here in Cullowhee. One example of that great work of our faculty is a 600,000 dollars grant from the U.S. department of education for after-school program to improve academic students of skills at Cullowhee valley school where the students speak language as another language. Your faculty staff and students quickly setting up the COVID-19 vaccination clinic, rammedly completing the backlog for Jackson county and expanding the vital resource to awful Western C reall of Western Carolina. -- and to yourselves those who volunteered , as we were discussing at the Board of Governors, all the schools in setting up the clinics in each, the top school, top Chancellor was Western Carolina University.
Well, that is pretty impressive when you have 25 and 30,000 students on other campuses and what it meant to this region is astronomical. I would ask that we show this appreciation not only to your Chancellor but to the entire faculty. ≫: [Applause.] ≫: I don't want to forget to mention what a hot commodity Western Carolina University is. As this institution once again set an enrollment record this past fall . A variety of factors, who wouldn't want to live in Cullowhee. Who wouldn't want to wear
purple and gold all the time. UNC system promise program which helped lower the cost of an education here at Western Carolina University. For those in many other reasons, enrollment continues to grow in Cullowhee. Great things are happening across the entire state of North Carolina. It is being spearheaded at Western Carolina University. Collectively, our 17 UNC campuses comprise a public university system that is among the best in this country.
You graduates will receive the benefit of that reputation as you go into the workforce or continue your education. As you go about living your lives I encourage you to take the time to savor all the memories and friendships that you made here at Western Carolina University. Please stay connected to this university and its people. I promise you it will be word every dime we are going to ask for later today. And please come
back to Cullowhee. Wonderful place, wonderful education, the best of luck to you. I expect nothing but wonderful things. Congratulations. ≫: [Applause.]
≫: Thank you Mr. Byers. We certainly appreciate your participation in our ceremony and your kind words of congratulations to our students. We really appreciate your friendship and support of this institution. Thank you, thank you. It is now my pleasure to recognize provost Richard Starnes who will introduce the commencement speaker.
≫: Each year, a graduating WCU student is selected to deliver remarks to our graduating class and guests. We invite submissions from all of our graduating students and a committee of faculty and staff from across campus review those sub mixes. Without fail, the committee receives entries from remarkable students and faced with the difficult task of selecting a speaker. I would like to thank the commence pmen speaker committee for 2201 for choosing -- for this year's undergraduate commencement ceremony. The student selected is graduating from the College of Engineering and Technology. With a bachelor's of science degree. This student
has already demonstrated a tremendous list of accomplishments which to be proud. Graduated from holy springs high school in 2017 and managed in construction management at WCU. He has served as chapter president of the new alpha phi alpha fraternity. As
mentor for project care, secretary for Black student union. And as a member of the order of omega. In recognition of his service he won the American Home place scholarship in 2018 and Joe Kim Elle scholarship, the I love WCU scholarship. Western Carolina community is proud to congratulate this student on his achievements and all those we know await him in his future. Graduating Catamounts, faculty, staff and esteemed family and friends, please join me in welcoming Mr. Thomas C golden to the podium. ≫: Before I yield the microphone, I would like to recognize Mr.
Golden with a plaque on behalf of WCU commemorating his selection as the 2021 undergraduate spring commencement speaker ≫: [Applause.] ≫: I can breathe. Woo. Good morning. My name is Thomas golden. I am grawtzing with a degree in construction manage with minor in business administration. I am from holy
springs North Carolina. A little bit out of Raleigh . Proud brother alpha phi alpha fraternity incorporated. For two years. I also served as secretary for Black student union as well as project care mentor. First and for most I want to say thank you to my family and specifically my parents, vary a golden and Dr. That as golden. Day in and day out and not accepting anything less. Thank
you for all the lessons. For the late night talks. For picking me up when I fell down. Thank you to my friends and brothers who I can call my family. Thank you for supporting me, for believing in me and for sticking with me through the four years. To all the
faculty and staff, thank you for driving me and pushing me to be the best version of myself. To the school of construction management, I thank you for keeping your word. You informed me if I dime Western, majored in construction management and worked hard, that employment after graduation was a high probability. I
am happy to say, that after graduation, I will be going to Charlotte and working as project engineer for shield sexton. ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Finally, to the school in which I am proud to call home, thank you. Six years ago I was a junior in high school. knowing where I wanted to go. Until I received an e-mail from a school I had never heard of.
Western Carolina University from. The moment I stepped onto campus I knew I did not want to be anywhere else. Thank you for giving me an opportunity, for providing me with so many lessons, for giving me the platforms in which I was able to voice all that I had to say. Change that for giving me opportunity after opportunity to be the leader my mother always said I could be. Thank
you to every one and everything that has contributed to my success and challenges here at Western Carolina. Chancellor, Dr. Kelli Brown. Faculty and staff. Fellow students. Family and friends of WCU, in the worlds of a character of my grandfather's favorite, we may not have gone over the challenges we face these last four years, but with your guidance and support we did get through them. For that we thank you for your presence during this portion of our journey, end quote. Thank you to awful you who has played a key role in assuring we are sitting here today. Not withstanding the
challenges of assimilating and adjusting to life at college and away from family and friends. We face the Excelling ever what pastor James White called decision, fatigue and drifting. The speed in which we had to decide as well as implication of making wrong decision amount wrong decision may have caused us to drift away from the principles and values imparted to us from our family and friends back home. However,
family and friends, you were there. Like the State Farm commercial being you were always there with encouraging words, compelling stories and sometimes a glance. Will reflect what we tolerated yesterday. So, my fellow 2021 classmates through the numerous hours spenld spent with you, dorms, because these freshman won't know about that. From
seeing every one crammed into a cat tram when it was raining. To every day crammed into a Chick-fil-a line . First, challenges about God or higher power signature on life. Although everyone's views on faith and religion are different, I would like to talk briefly on my faith and what I have learned. Challenges are something we cannot avoid in life. They come at good times and bad times. They seem to happen at the whrors possible times, they can be overcome. God will never put anything in front of you that cannot overcome.
It just depends on how hard you are willing to fight that will decide the outcome. It is through the fight and determination we show when thing get tough that we find out what we are made of. Second, challenges teach us to be resilient. According to Judith row den first permanent female president of an ivy league school. Prepare
for disruptions to recover from shocks and stresses, and to grow from the disruptive experience, WCU have taught us to build resilience into our lives. Therefore with a normal flow of our lives was disturbed by COVID-19, racial and political unrest T death of a loved one, the break up of a long term relationship. Failing a class or other, you were there to guide you as we manage and adapt toed the disruption.
Although it was not always pretty, regardless of the issues we face through the years, we were here at WCU. You ensure that we developed the capacity to bounce back, learn from it, and stay on course. Finally, our life journey is meant to unfold as a series of challenges to becoming a better person. We are all meant to be something in this world. Through challenges and
obstacles only then will we know who we are truly are. Better than we were yesterday. If there were no challenges, we will never improve and thus sit on will not improve. One phrase that stood out to me over these Massachusetts -- we are told to move forward and never take steps back washeds. While it is okay to look to the past for guidance.
We must never live or say that the past. Because we -- it depends on how far you are willing to walk until you see that light. The last portion of the poem don't quit captures the essence of this lesson. Success is failure turned inside out, the silver tint of the clouds of doubt. So stick to the fight
when your hardest hit. It is when thing seem worst that you must not quick. From the popular musical Hamilton, what comes next? What comes next after you get knocked down, afterlife smacks you in the face. After you face challenge after challenge. I have faith that you will answer that question with Resounding I will not quit. Thank you to every one who has helped us throughout the years we have been in college. It has been a
long journey filled with many challenges and obstacles. But we have finally made it. For some, it is the end of our journey in school, thank God. For others, it is just another milestone.
Chancellor Brown, WCU, family and friends, we the class of 2021 salute. For my fellow classmates. Look mama. I made it. Thank you. ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Thank you Thomas for your thoughtful remarks. It is
always a joy to hear from our student speakers. At this time proceed I have Richard Starnes will recognize the university scholars and begin today's presentation of candidates for degrees. ≫: Chancellor Brown, it is my pleasure to recognize those students who enrolled as freshman at Carolina university and who have completed their entire undergraduate 4. 0 -- met -- special recognition as university scholars. Ask the following individuals to stand and be recognized during this spring commencement. Please hold your applause until
all have been introduced. Maddox bull ris.Nate Hadley. Amanda weaver. Congratulations on this outstanding accomplishment. ≫: [Applause.] ≫: You can be seated. ≫: Chancellor Brown, I now call ≫: Dr.
Jill grawng Granger ≫: Members of the Brinson Honors College to please stand and remain standing. ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Chancellor Brown, the Brinson Honors College is pleased and proud to present candidate whose will graduate with full honors. Candidates graduating with full honors are distinguished by the honor's medallion. ≫: Dr.
AJ Grubey dean of the college of business. ≫: I ask all candidates from the College of Business to please stand and remain standing. ≫: [Applause.]
≫: Chancellor Brown, the college ever business is proud to present these candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree and the Bachelor of Science and business administration degree. ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Dr. Jeffrey ray, dean of engineering and technology ≫: I ask all candidates for degrees from the engineer and technology, home of maker, designers, builders to please stand and remain standing ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Chancellor Brown, the College of Engineering and Technology is thrilled and extremely proud to present the candidates for Bachelor of Science degrees and construction management, engineering, and engineering technology. ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Chancellor Brown, all candidates for degrees are here by presented.
≫: Thank you provost Starnes. I ask that all faculty present today on the platform and in the audience, to stand and remain standing in support of these graduates and as a confirmation of their meeting their rigorous standards set forth by the University. Please stand, faculty. ≫: [Applause.]
≫: I now ask all Western Carolina University alumni present today on the platform and in the audience to stand and remain standing, as witness toss the conferral of these degrees and acceptance of these students into the ranks of loyal alumni. Alumni Alum ≫: Upon recommendation of the faculty by the authority vetted in me by the university of -- Western Carolina Board of Trustees, and upon their completion of all degree requirements, I confer upon these candidates, the degrees for which they have been recommended with all the rights, honors and responsibilities appertaining there to. Please join me this congratulating our newest graduates ≫: [Applause.] ≫: You may be seated. ≫: Graduates, each of you have worked dill subsequently, passionately, and tirelessly, earning the distinct privilege to sit before you today. You have
believed in your dreams. You have set your sites on your goals. You have weathered a once in a century pandemic. You have completed all the difficult and necessary tasks to reach this day, a day that represents one of the most significant milestones in your lifetime. A milestone
that makes possible a future of unlimited possibilities. It is your hard work and perseverance that is the main reason that you are here today. The culmination of many long nights research manager the library, hundreds of hours of study and homework, many months in the classroom and internships, hundreds of hours collaborating with classmates, numerous evenings attending special events on campus. And the list
goes on and on. You hung in there, no matter how tough it got. Working with tutors and advisers and meeting with professors and staff. You have worked
so hard to make it to this day. And now you are here! As citizens of the world we face many challenges and many opportunities. Excellent healthcare for the challenging population. Innovation ought -- development of sustainable earth friendly energies.
Access to affordable and quality education. Construction and design of energy efficient homes and buildings. The creation and performance of art and music. And the continual discovery in how to maintain the beauty and bio diversity of places like Western North Carolina, while simultaneously supporting burr goning hospitality and tour. I industry. This is just the tip of the ice Berg.
Graduates, it is now up to you to create the world in which we live. It is your freshly born ideas that will create sustainable environments. It is your vision for the future that will eliminate poverty and hunger. It is your
ability to take your educational experience and apply it to create international innovation and collaboration. And most importantly, it is your ability to believe in peace, justice and equality that will make that a reality for all. Graduates T future is yours, the world is counted go on you! While we live in exciting times, a time where employment opportunities offer unique and fulfilling experiences, many of you have secured interviews or job offers, have plans to attend Graduate School or have come back to school recently to complete a degree that you began many years ago. As lie out at the passion and energy, the hope and the resill gens on the faces before me, I must say how proud we are of you, our cat mounts. Graduates, once upon a time we stood before you to lead the way. Today, we stand behind you, ready to follow. And we
stand beside you ready to serve as you lead us into the future. Congratulations, and go Cats! ≫: [Applause.] ≫: I now ask all degree candidates to step forward to receive their diplomas. ≫: Please note that those students graduating assume a cum laude, magna cum laude or magna cum laude wear the gold chord.
Armed Forces wear red, white and blue chords. Some graduates wearing stoles, pins, denoting affiliation with organization. Since each individual graduate is recognized by calling their name as they walk across the stage, we ask the entire audience to respect the graduates and their families, by refraining from the use of artificial noise makers, such as air-horns. We ask that you remain seated and stay for the entire ceremony . From the Brinson honor college, College of Business : ≫: From the Brinson Honors College, college of engineer and technology: ≫: From the College of Business: ≫: From the College of Engineering and Technology . ≫: Chance lore brown, all candidates for degrees have now been presented. ≫: [Applause.
] ≫: All right. We are going to wait for the folks to return to their seats. Be a little bit patient and we will get to the end of this. Okay. ≫: Music playing. ≫: Woo, woo, woo, ≫: Excuse me. Chair Kinney.
What did I say, no air-horns. Dean Granger, honor's dean. Previous president Dr. Spencer, no.
Well, okay. Well, okay. Now the moment that we have all been waiting for, graduates please rise. ≫: [Applause. ≫: Okay. Now, move your as the Elle to the left, to signify the earning of your undergraduate degree. Congratulations! ≫: [Applause.] ≫: You may now be seated.
You are now alumni of Western Carolina University. introduce to you Mr. Neal Andrews president of the alumni association to greet you as alumni colleagues.
≫: [Applause. ] ≫: Hi on you Catamounts. Purple and gold. You guys look great in all that purple out there. Congratulations. Good morning, my
name is Neal Andrews, WCU alumni association president. It is truly my pleasure to congratulate you on your accomplishments today. I welcome you to the ranks of Western Carolina University alumni. ≫: [Applause.]
≫: I remind you today that you make a very meaningful transition. Up until now, it has been the university's role to fill you with knowledge, and to give you the skills necessary to pursue your future. You leave here today W today, with a new role as alumni.
To your colleagues and to all of those who are going to come to know you in the future. You have made memories here in the wee to last a lifetime. be the end of your Catamount story. Today, you received an alumni lapel pin from WCU's office from alumni engagement. Wear that and wear it proudly.
Please stay connect and involved with WCU. I encourage you to participate in alumni eventeds and keep your network strong and make new connections take. Advantage of the services that remain available to you through the center for career and professional development. Return back to the wee.
Here at work CU to share your experience withs the future generations of Catamount graduates. Make WCU a fill land thoppic priority. As your contributions to can make a difference in the lives of the students who are going to follow in your footsteps.
Most of all, remain a part of this place, what makes it social and our lives, that is the community. The class of 2021 will go in WCU history as a very special class. One of incredible resolve and resiliency. The strength that you have displayed in the face of the adversity of COVID 19, the pandemic. It is an
inspiration to us all. I look forward to continuing to serve as your Alumni Association President and hearing of all the great and wonderful things that you will do. So fight on, you Catamounts. Go on and prove your purple.
Congratulations, thank you. ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Thank you Mr. Andrews for those remarks. conclude, let me acknowledge some special individuals who are part of our ceremony today. First, I salute all members of our graduating class who are veterans, active duty, guard and reserve members. Western Carolina takes great pride in being a military-friendly university. We are so proud of you. Would those students please
stand so we may express our appreciation to you for your service. Please stand ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Thank you. Thank you very much. Next, let me recognize the families of our graduates.
Will the parents or guardians of our graduates please stand. ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Please remain standing. Will the spouses and children of our graduates, please stand. ≫: [Applause.]
≫: Will the grandparents and other family members of our graduates, please stand ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Will all the special friends of our graduates, now please stand, and remain standing. ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Okay. While you are standing, it is my pleasure to invite the graduates to rise and show their appreciation to you, for your love, support and commitment to their future ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Excellent. You all may be seated. A ceremony like this does not just happen.
So please join me in thanking the army of staff colleagues from every part of campus who had a part in making this ceremony a very special occasion for all of us. Let's all thank them ≫: [Applause.] ≫: At the conclude of the ceremony we ask that the audience to dpit Ramsey regional activity center as quickly as possible, so we can sanitize for our next ceremony. Thanks to all of you who joined us today to share this momentous occasion. Mr. Ham Lynn and remain standing for recessional. Following the recessional this ceremony will be concluded.
Congratulations graduates, and go Cats! ≫: [Applause.] ≫: Hail to thee our alma mater, faithful kind and true. Every son and son and daughter offers praise to you . Hail to the dearest spot of all. Hail to WCU . Light and life and fond devotion all to thee are due .