It’s been a week full of celebration for the UNC Greensboro Class of 2018, from departmental graduations to the doctoral hooding ceremony to the Red Carpet Reception for new alumni.

The festivities culminated this morning at the May Commencement ceremony, with more than 2,700 Spartans – the largest graduating class in university history – turning their tassels.

For some, the next step is graduate school. For others, an internship, job or travel.

No matter the path, UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. urged the students to live out UNCG’s motto of “Service.”

“This is about the greater good,” Gilliam said. “So while we celebrate your achievement today, know that you are part of something larger … a higher calling.”

It was a message echoed by commencement speaker Joey Cheek, Olympic speed skating gold medalist and internationally-recognized humanitarian leader.

Cheek talked about the fortune and good luck he’s had along the way that, coupled with hard work, passion and a desire to be the best, helped propel him to an Olympic gold medal and success after retirement from the sport.

He told the graduates that because of these “lucky elements”– his supportive family, being born in the United States and the teachers and mentors who came into his life – he now has an obligation to give back.

“My success and your success doesn’t take away from anyone else in the world,” Cheek said. “It is worth helping others find their way.”

And so amidst the tassel turning, hugging and shouts of joy, the graduates were left with one final call: Go make an impact.

Congratulations, Class of 2018!

 

Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications