by Jim Carpenter
President John T. Casteen III (left) and Virginia Gov.
Mark Warner process down the Lawn at Finals May 19 behind
Grand Marshal Charles Tolbert.
By Lee Graves
Mark R. Warner urged members of U.Va.s Class of 2002
to use the values of a liberal education to navigate in
a world of rapid change and increasing uncertainty.
more people in more parts of the world live in freedom than
ever before. But the fundamental values of civilized society
liberal democracy, free expression and economic opportunity
are under assault everywhere, as we all know after
9-11 in America.
whose wife, Lisa Collis, is a 1977 graduate of U.Va., was
the guest speaker at Sundays 173rd Final Exercises,
which drew more than 30,000 people to the Lawn and satellite
locations. He also advised graduates to resist distilling
complex issues into sound bites, to honor tradition without
being bound to it and to remember the foundation of values
laid by the University.
wont be easy, but our country needs the values more
than ever, he said.
For some of the more than 5,000 students who received more
than 5,500 degrees, what they needed was a job.
employment status has changed drastically in the wake
of Sept. 11, said April Orr, a Virginia Beach resident who
received a degree in communication disorders. She has yet
to land a job, but her thoughts Sunday were more about celebrating
achievement than fretting about the future.
was an experience of a lifetime, given all the history and
prestige of U.Va., she said about the ceremony.
Brent of Sterling, an English and history major, also was
somewhat overwhelmed by the finality of Finals. Its
something bigger than myself. Its like a shock. You
can see it coming, but when it gets here, its so much
bigger, she said.
not the same person. No matter what you go out and do, youre
not the same person afterward. I feel a sense of accomplishment.
U.Va. is not an easy school, and I had to work hard.
sense of accomplishment pervaded the exercises. On a day
blessed with blue skies and crisp breezes, a day when every
statue and set of steps provided props for photos with family,
friends and well-wishers, a day when helium balloons floated
into the wind and hung in the trees like oversized fruit
smiles, hugs, handshakes and high-fives were abundant.
John T. Casteen III noted the achievements of three groups
in particular in his remarks. He recognized three students
Jay C. Burgess of Charlottesville, Carrie Griffin
of Springfield and Vickie Johnson-Williams of Crozet
as the Universitys first recipients of Bachelor of
Interdisciplinary Students degrees.
singled out Kathryn Ganske and her son, Christopher, of
Winchester. She received a doctorate from the School of
Nursing while her son was awarded a bachelor of science
degree in accounting from the McIntire School of Commerce.
he praised a collaboration between the School of Architecture
and the School of Engineering and Applied Science that has
involved nearly 80 students planning, designing and building
a solar house for a competition in Washington, D.C. About
30 of those students received degrees Sunday.
all, the number of degrees awarded was as follows:
3,255 baccalaureate degrees (45 of those earned in three
505 first professional degrees; and
1,854 graduate degrees, including 292 Ph.D.s, 31 Doctor
of Education degrees and one Doctor of Juridical Science
also noted that 493 of Sundays graduates were international
students, a factor apparent in the language and garb among
the thousands packing the Lawn.
Grounds appeared in immaculate condition after Fridays
lashing from high winds and intense rains. The thunderstorms
forced University officials to move Saturdays Valedictory
Exercises to University Hall, and one organizer said the
turnout was good despite the switch.
addition to honoring achievement, Sundays program
included more than a nod to its cost. Warner plugged Novembers
referendum on spending $1 billion for capital needs on campuses
around the state.
Casteen read a letter from the secret Seven Society disclosing
a contribution of $27,777.77 to the College of Arts &
Sciences. The letter emphasized that the classroom experience
is the heart of a students education, and the gift
was made so that that experience would not be hindered in
the light of state budget cuts.
Finals made for a spectacle rich in color and brimming with
tradition, it also carried a sense of relief.
glad its over, said Calvin Brent, Satoria Brents
father, as he stood with her in the shade beside the Rotundas
west wing. A plumber in Sterling, he said she is the only
one of his children to finish college. Im glad
that she finished and that she did well.
proud of her.