The University’s 146th Commencement took place on Sunday, May 5th. 2,840 UK undergraduate students earned their degrees and were honored by the University at two ceremonies in Rupp Arena. At 1 p.m. the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony included the graduates from the colleges of Agriculture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; and Nursing. At 6 p.m. the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony celebrated the graduates from the colleges of Arts and Sciences; Communication and Information; Design; Fine Arts; Health Sciences; and Social Work. The ceremonies were live-streamed and uploaded to the University’s YouTube channel afterwards. More than 2000 undergraduates attended the ceremonies with their friends and parents. As is the UK tradition, undergraduate students were chosen to speak at the commencement.
Mercedes Rosado, from Marquette, Michigan, spoke at the 1 p.m. ceremony. She graduated with a degree in Kinesiology from the College of Education. According to a recent article, among her favorite memories of UK are participating in the enormous success of DanceBlue and facilitating the coin toss at a UK football game. A pilot candidate in Air Force ROTC, she was commissioned on May 3rd as a Second Lieutenant. She will begin pilot training in February 2014 at Columbus Air Force base in Mississippi.
In her speech, Rosado told her classmates to remember three things:
- They “aren’t done learning” – there’s a lifetime more to do
- They “just need to be nice”
- They can’t “stop having fun” just because they’re leaving UK
Gaines Fellow and Honors Program student Luke C. Glaser spoke at the 6 p.m. ceremony. As a senior fellow with the Gaines Center for Humanities, Glaser completed a two-year fellowship, working on a community jury project to create an anti-bullying play to be performed in elementary schools. He graduated with degrees in English and Hispanic Studies from the College of Arts and Sciences. From Louisville, Kentucky, he was also a Student Government senator, served as a features editor at The Kentucky Kernel (and wrote a weekly column, “The Lukewarm Truth”), and College of Arts and Science ambassador.
As a Teach for America (TFA) Campus Community Coordinator, he recruited students for the TFA Program. He has been chosen to teach Spanish in an Appalachian high school for the next two years through TFA. (Listen to the UK Hispanic Studies podcast of his interview here.)
Glaser’s speech emphasized the highlights and changes his class went through as the University brought in a new president. He spoke of the President’s slogan of the “Kentucky Promise” as a new covenant in which they as UK graduates also have a role to play.
He spoke highly of the UK faculty who helped to create the culture shift needed for them to succeed as college students. It is important to note however, that as his first example of faculty at the University who were most important to him, Glaser referred to the inspirational “gamechanger” Dr. Lisa Broome, professional staff in the Gaines Center for the Humanities in the Division of Undergraduate Education. Co-founder of Kentucky Museum Without Walls, Broome is one of the most original thinkers at the University. Holding an administrative position of Director of Student Affairs in the Gaines Center, she is the mainstay for this most challenging academic experience for the University, a prestigious undergraduate capstone fellowship. She has also been a longtime popular UK Honors Program faculty. Clearly, Dr. Broome is a “gamechanger” at the University of Kentucky and who served as an important mentor for the representative of the undergraduate Class of 2013.
Congratulations to the University of Kentucky’s graduating Class of 2013 – and to all the student support services staff and faculty who encouraged and challenged them to succeed.