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
few snapshots of Finals
A graduate hefts a huge sign that says, "Loretta Is Right
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.
President John T. Casteen III, bottom right, enjoys a humorous
remark from Finals speaker Alfred Berkeley, a 1966 alumnus.
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.
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."
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.
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."
Peer Health Education Coordinator Hilda Ward, left center,
congratulates several members of this yearšs graduating class.
also stressed the importance of basic education.
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.
ended his brief speech by exhorting graduates to "get involved,"
and become advocates for basic research and education.
don't want you to take advantage of opportunities without having
a concomitant sense of obligation," he said.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
receiving degrees: 4,437
International students: 431
earning degree in three years: 37
set up on the Lawn and around Grounds: 39,000
Management employees setting them up: 130
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.
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.