May 26-June 8, 2000
Back Issues
Students and families jubilant at U.Va. commencement
U.Va. MERCI Project recovers $18 million in medical supplies
U.Va.'s 2000-2001 holiday schedule

Ronald Taylor named Inventor of the Year

University of Virginia scientists who have won patents since Jan. 1, 1999
'The need is overwhelming': Law student takes lead in providing volunteer services
Machinist grinds out long career, piece by piece
Lacrosse team celebrates Finals a day late
In Memoriam
U.Va. CMC Telethon set for June 3 and 4
Flanagan leaving the University
Notable - awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Hot Links - Electronic Text Center
A new library exhibit aims to delight the child in all of us
New pay plan employee information sessions
Peggy Harrison
Graduating students gather on the north side of the Rotunda around Thomas Jefferson's statue before processing down the Lawn. (Trees obscure University Avenue in the background.)

Students and families jubilant at U.Va. commencement

By Nancy Hurrelbrinck

A few snapshots of Finals 2000:

A graduate hefts a huge sign that says, "Loretta Is Right Here."

An usher lifts a blue rope so a white-haired woman in a wheelchair can scoot under it, her gold lame bag swinging gaily behind her.

"Well there was a bald head ..." mutters a man trying, like many parents, to take a photograph of a graduate without other people in it, despite the crowd of 30,000 on the Lawn.

Balloons of all shapes and colors bob above the sea of black mortarboards -- a butterfly, a silver crescent moon, a bunch of M&Ms, dozens with the Labor Action Group's trademark $8 sign.

A loud, deliberate Spanish voice wafts by -- a woman translating the program for her mother.

Hearing his school called during the ceremony, a graduate shakes his fist in the air, then reaches up to straighten his tassel.

Alfred Berkeley
Peggy Harrison
U.Va. President John T. Casteen III, bottom right, enjoys a humorous remark from Finals speaker Alfred Berkeley, a 1966 alumnus.

Blessed with a cool, gray morning that turned sunny just after the ceremony, 4,437 graduates processed down the Lawn May 21 for U.Va.'s 171st graduation. Besides the throng on the Lawn, over 600 people watched the ceremony from four remote locations, such as Newcomb Theater.

University Rector John P. Ackerly III introduced the guest speaker, Nasdaq president Alfred R. Berkeley III, who graduated in 1966 and recently confessed to having placed a cow on the roof of the Rotunda in 1965. (Students mooed upon hearing this.)

Berkeley touted the "knowledge explosion" that has made people throughout the world more interconnected, thereby creating "a proliferation of free markets."

He said the world needs groundbreaking research like that done on computers and genetics in the 1960s that have made the Internet and advances in genetic engineering possible today.

"Nasdaq is benefiting from the explosion of knowledge through the creation of new companies," he said. "There is no other country like ours that will let an entrepreneur with an idea come forward and get public money to put that idea to the test."

Hilda Ward
Peggy Harrison
U.Va. Peer Health Education Coordinator Hilda Ward, left center, congratulates several members of this yearšs graduating class.

He also stressed the importance of basic education.

"We have a crisis in this country that we're not educating a large percentage of our population," he said, adding that an essential body of knowledge needs to be taught nationwide and praising English professor E.D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge Foundation.

Berkeley ended his brief speech by exhorting graduates to "get involved," and become advocates for basic research and education.

"I don't want you to take advantage of opportunities without having a concomitant sense of obligation," he said.

As President John T. Casteen III lauded the accomplishments of the Class of 2000, he mentioned Harvel Huddleston Sebastian, who, at 71, was the oldest graduate, receiving a Master's in Urban and Environmental Planning. She intends to work on regional water issues in her native Santa Fe.

He also praised the youngest graduate, 17-year-old Katherine Ann Giltinan, who grew up in Faber, Va. She will use her English B.A. working at a Charlottesville publishing house.

Peggy Harrison
Retired U.Va. Spanish professor C. Julian Bishko (left), 93, made a point of attending U.Va.'s Finals ceremony to congratulate his cousin twice removed, Brandi L. Durkac (second from right). Bishko, who still goes to Alderman Library once a week to do research, became a mentor to Durkac, who majored in Spanish and economics. Standing with them are Spanish department chair David Gies, who said he also considered Bishko a mentor, and Brandišs mother, Lani, whose father was Bishko's first cousin.

Class gift

At Valediction Exercises on May 20, Class of 2000 officers presented to Casteen a class gift of more than $37,000, which will benefit about 170 organizations, including Madison House, the Office of African-American Affairs and the Women's Center.

This year's class gift was designed to allow students to donate to the U.Va. organization, department, school or team of their choice. In honor of a first-year student who died in 1996, 20 percent of each student's contribution will go to the Elizabeth Coggins Scholarship Fund.

Advice from Andy Rooney

CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Andy Rooney, the featured speaker, encouraged graduates to "look at where you are in relation to the history of the world before you decide what to do," and what problems need to be solved.

He also advised them to pursue their passions. "If you have a choice between getting a job where you could make a lot of money and a job doing something you really like for a little money, no doubt about it, take less money," he said.

Rooney warned against viewing technology as the answer to all problems. "The demand in the future is not going to be for computer programmers, but for people who know how to do something. ...I can imagine a carpenter making $250,000 a year building a home for a computer programmer making $150,000 a year."

Ishmail Conway
Peggy Harrison
Ishmail Conway, associate director of Upward Bound, was awarded a Ph.D. in Education from the Curry School. Also a lecturer in the drama department, he is currently directing two world-premiere plays, "Vinegar Hill" by Teresa Dowell-Vest of Charlottesville, and "Malcolm, Martin & Medgar" by A. Peter Bailey of Washington. Conway also served for six years as assistant dean and director of the Luther P. Jackson Cultural Center in U.Va.'s Office of African-American Affairs.


The program also included the presentation of awards to students and faculty to honor their contributions to U.Va.

The Algernon Sydney Sullivan awards, which recognize excellence of character and service to humanity, went to Annette Gibbs, professor of education and director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the Curry School of Education, and fourth-year students Leslie H. Williams Jr. and Pooja V. Sukhwani.

Gibbs joined the faculty in 1970, the first year the University officially admitted women as undergraduates. As associate dean of students and assistant professor of higher education, Gibbs played a major role in smoothing the road for female students.

In a letter nominating her for the honor, a supporter wrote that as soon as she arrived on Grounds, "it was clear that Dr. Gibbs was willing to tackle difficult and controversial issues and to stand on the side of right despite formidable opposition."

Another noted, "She is a model of a 'servant-leader,' one who has done a remarkable job for nearly 30 years in serving her school, her students, her University and her profession with distinction."

Colin R. Ducharme won the Louis A. Onesty Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award. The Dance Marathon won the James Earle Sargeant Award, which is given annually to an organization making exceptional efforts for the general benefit of the University. Both awards are sponsored by the Seven Society.

Graduation Stats

Individuals receiving degrees: 4,437

Undergraduate: 2,888

Graduate: 1,050

Professional: 499

Degrees conferred: 5,362

International students: 431

Undergraduates earning degree in three years: 37

Chairs set up on the Lawn and around Grounds: 39,000

Facilities Management employees setting them up: 130

There were three class awards. The 2000 Class Award for Cultural Fluency went to Sonia Rosa Chang for understanding and appreciation of cultural and intellectual diversity. Sarah Elizabeth Crawford received the Trustees' Award for Community Service for sincere and continued commitment to service. Presented for the first time, the 2000 Class Award for the Performing and Creative Arts was given to Adam Jerome Popp for his contributions to the arts.

Other events on Saturday included commissioning exercises for Army, Navy and Air Force officer candidates in Old Cabell Hall and the School of Nursing pinning ceremony on the Rotunda steps.


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