Achievements of Students Take Center Stage During Fall Graduation Ceremonies
Dec. 12, 2014
Thousands of family members and friends of graduates will attend the graduation ceremonies held in the Activity Center Main Gym. For those who cannot attend, there will be a live webcast of each ceremony.
Senior Bonnie Rollins hesitated to apply to be a speaker at her school’s graduation ceremony.
“I just wanted to grab my diploma and run,” joked the soon-to-be graduate from the Naveen Jindal School of Management.
Rollins soon came to a different realization: “I do have something to say,” she said.
Rollins submitted a speech to the selection committee and was chosen to address the audience at the Jindal School undergraduate ceremony on Friday. One theme of her speech will be perseverance.
“The only way you’re going to fail in life is if you decide to fail,” said Rollins, a mother of three and grandmother of eight who studied accounting and business administration. “A person can do anything they want to do, as long as they are willing to work for it.”
The hard work of more than 2,000 students expected to earn their degrees this fall will be celebrated during three days of ceremonies, starting with the Doctoral Hooding on Thursday.
The fall graduating class includes nearly 1,000 bachelor's students, almost 1,000 master's students, and 56 doctoral candidates have been certified. More than 2,500 students are expected to participate in the ceremonies, as some summer graduates are also taking part.
In keeping with UT Dallas tradition, a student will speak at each of the six graduation ceremonies on Friday and Saturday. President David E. Daniel will also address the graduates, their families, friends and supporters.
The Jindal School will hold three ceremonies on Friday to accommodate the 892 students expected to earn degrees.
Also on Friday, the degrees of 426 students will be celebrated during a ceremony for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. Matthew McDonough, a doctoral graduate in electrical engineering, will speak at that ceremony. McDonough said he hopes to inspire his fellow graduates to seize their potential.
“I want people who hear my speech to follow their passions and truly make the world a better place,” he said.
Upon graduation, McDonough has a job lined up with Enerad Holdings, a startup company in Dallas that is commercializing the technology he has worked on in the Renewable Energy and Vehicular Technology lab of Dr. Babak Fahimi, professor of electrical engineering. McDonough said speaking at conferences for power electronics and renewable energy integration has prepared him for this opportunity.
“So I’m not too nervous about it,” he said.
Nervous or otherwise, hundreds of students will participate in Saturday’s ceremonies, celebrating the completion of the following degrees — 151 from the School of Arts and Humanities; 76 from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies; 131 from the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; 206 from the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences; and 134 from the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.
Attendees of each ceremony are invited to adjourn to Memories on the Mall, a tradition honoring the University’s newest alumni. The event includes refreshments, photo opportunities and giveaways.
Those unable to attend the ceremonies can watch a live video stream of the proceedings online.