Graduating students gather on the north side of the Rotunda
around Thomas Jefferson¹s 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 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.
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.)
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."
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. Full
MERCI Project recovers $18 million in medical supplies
U.Va. nurse Helen French completed her first inventory of trash
in the 19 operating rooms at the Medical Center in 1992, she discovered
"gold" -- dozens of clean, unused medical supplies, such
as surgical gloves, face masks, gauze and sutures. They were being
incinerated along with the used supplies.
thought that everything in an OR was infectious. What I saw were
all these clean supplies that were unwrapped but never used,"
said French, who has spent 11 of her 26 years as an operating room
nurse at U.Va. As a result, French founded the Medical Equipment
Recovery of Clean Inventory Project at U.Va., which donates the
clean, unused medical supplies to charities. Recently the project's
donation total surpassed $18 million worth of recovered supplies.
has provided more than 80 tons of recovered supplies to humanitarian
missions," she said. Full story.