You couldn't swing a cap and gown around here last weekend without hitting at least three happy college graduates and their proud extended families. From Thursday to Saturday, five of the schools I cover held their spring commencement ceremonies (and one of those, N.C. A&T, held two).
Here are some highlights from a big weekend of college graduations:
• The biggest name to speak at area commencements this season was actor and comedian (and Greensboro native) Ken Jeong, who addressed UNCG graduates on Friday. N&R arts writer Dawn Kane covered his talk here, and here are our pictures of the event. UNCG didn't post video of Jeong's address — some sort of prohibition in his contract, apparently — but there's an excerpt of his speech here.* UNCG also did a short Q&A with Jeong here.
• Some naming news from N.C. A&T: The big second-floor event space in the new student center is now the Deese Ballroom, from which I think you can see the Deese Clock Tower. Both are named for Willie Deese, a 1977 A&T graduate with strong and deep ties to the university who spoke at Saturday's undergraduate graduation ceremony. For pictures of A&T's commencement, click here.
• At its commencement Saturday, Greensboro College awarded its highest honor to Calvin Gilmore, its campus safety and security director who has worked at the college since 1982. The college's president, Lawrence Czarda, praised Gilmore for "his presence, competence, kindness, professionalism and perceptiveness." Gilmore got the Nannie Lee Smith Exemplary Service Medal, which the college has handed out only a few times since it established the award in 2011. Click here for more on the medal and its 2019 winner.
• High Point University also held commencement Saturday. Click here for a short report and some photos from that event.
Congrats to the class of 2019!
There are still two area commencements to go: Wake Forest on May 20, and Elon University on May 24. Click here for the complete schedule with links to details.
* Update, Tuesday: UNCG's full and re-edited commencement video (click here) now has Jeong's full speech. Chancellor Frank Gilliam introduces him at the 44- minute mark; Jeong takes the podium at 47:15.