The University of Cincinnati—Clermont College’s Commencement Celebration took place recently at the Oasis Conference Center in Loveland, Ohio. In addition to the proud graduates, many family and faculty members attended the event in order to honor those graduates at UCC because it was, indeed, a moment to remember for all.
After the professors at the university walked down the aisle, followed by the graduates, Dean Jeff Bauer opened the celebration. He stated that on the behalf of the faculty, he wanted the audience to enjoy themselves and cheer loudly when particular graduates were recognized. In addition, before moving on to the ceremony, Dr. Bauer asked any UC alumni in the audience to stand up and be recognized as proud graduates of the University of Cincinnati.
Ginger Warner, a University of Cincinnati Trustee, was then introduced by Dr. Bauer and delivered an uplifting and inspirational message. She said that the graduates have “worked hard” and met their “many obligations,” and have accomplished many dreams through this graduation. Warner asked the students to be individuals of character, to make a difference and give back to their communities, and to remember that “we [your family and the school]are very proud of you.” At the end of her speech, Warner received a standing ovation.
After Warner’s presentation, Dr. Bauer presented his Excellence Awards, where numerous UCC employees were recognized for dedication to the school and excellence in teaching. Some of those awarded include Bruce Davis, Meera Rastogi, Ron Wesley, Kim Jacobs-Beck, Karen Mathis, Elizabeth Terry, David Downing, and Kathleen Cooper.
Once these awards were presented, Dr. Sharon Burns took the stage as the keynote speaker. Among other topics, she discussed her love and passion for writing, and stated that “writing creates our free and just society.” In her speech, Dr. Burns drew from multiple famous pieces of literature: Charlotte’s Webb, The Wizard of Oz, The Gettysburg Address, To Kill a Mockingbird, and the I Have a Dream speech by Martin Luther King among others. Using a story about her father, she asked those in attendance to “lead by example,” words no doubt many of the graduates took to heart. Dr. Burns also became emotional when she discussed the recent loss of a grandson, and how that loss impacted her and her family. During this time, she learned to “lean in” and made it through this difficult time in her life.
Dr. Burns also told the audience how important it is to “follow through,” and that there is a huge difference between saying you are going to do something and actually doing it. She admonished each listener to “respect yourself by respecting others,” something she took to heart while on sabbatical. And finally, Dr. Burns asked the graduates to “give credit when credit is due.” Every graduate in the audience that night very likely had someone that has helped him or her reach that point, and those individuals deserve credit as well. Senator Joe Uecker was also in attendance, and presented an award to Dr. Burns for her success as an educator.
The audience’s attention then turned towards the graduates, some of whom were wearing gold cords and other marks of distinction (graduating with honors, military distinction, etc.). However, before the graduates received their diplomas, the outstanding sophomore, Cassandra Booe, spoke to the entire group. Because of her southern accent, Booe admitted that she was going to try and sound as formal as possible. Ms. Booe had flown in from New Mexico to attend the celebration that evening and was thrilled to be chosen to speak to her fellow graduates.
See the full profile of Cassandra Booe here.
The graduates were then welcomed by name on to the stage to be recognized, and another successful UC Clermont commencement ceremony came to a close and created a moment that the graduates, the audience, and the school would remember forever.
See the companion photo essay of the event here.