‘You Are Not Powerless’ and Other Highlights From NC College Graduations

Ben Buchwalter / Flickr

It’s that time of year when college students move their tassles from right to left and become graduates. In honor of that accomplishment, here are some highlights from N.C. commencement ceremonies.

Duke University in Durham. Apple CEO Tim Cook was the commencement speaker. He talked about the challenges graduates will face, but the power they have to inspire change.

North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. State Sen. Joel Ford, who represents District 38, referenced the popular movie "The Black Panther" to inspire students during his commencement speech.

UNC Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill. Social Entrepreneur and author Rye Barcott explained the significance behind the name "Tar Heels" during his commencement speech.

UNC Charlotte in Charlotte. Retired CMS Superintendent Ann Clark and Equity Executive for Novant Health Ophelia Garmon-Brown both received honorary degrees during the commencement exercises at UNCC. (Video unavailable)

Ann Clark, left, and Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown, right.

North Carolina Central University in Durham. State House Rep. Chaz Beasley, who represents District 92, cited the statistics and challenges students defied by graduating.

Queens University in Charlotte. Graduate Freddie Sherrill, who was formerly homeless, received his degree this year at age 65. He reminded graduates of the importance of giving back and paying it forward.

UNC Pembroke in Pembroke. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr reminded graduates of the importance of community in his commencement speech.

North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund Marian Wright Edelman delivered the commencement address and also received an honorary degree from the university. (Video unavailable)

Marian Write Edelman

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