assured they are ready
View webcast of Commencment
If any of the 395
graduates at UNC Pembroke's Winter Commencement on December 13 did not
take Dr. Jeffery Geller's class, the philosophy professor made sure
they got the benefit of his wisdom and wit at least once.
There were a record
number of graduates at UNCP's Winter Commencement that included 75 graduate
Dr. Geller, a popular
UNCP professor and recipient of UNC's highest honor for teaching in
2003, gave the graduates a short course in philosophy Saturday from
the podium of the Givens Performing Arts Center.
deprivation, you have been subject to other trials," Dr. Geller
told the graduates. "This was not an easy initiation. You were
asked to care about subjects that you did not previously care about."
were in a psychologically vulnerable state, you were ripe for brainwashing,"
he said. "Under these conditions, we could have convinced you to
join any number of cults, but we did not do that to you."
"We, the faculty,
made you effective problem solvers," Geller continued. "Life
has problems. Here, the consequences for failure were fairly mild."
you to a barrage of problems, but they were designer problems, that
were designed to have solutions," he said. "We implanted in
you the belief - the faith - that every problem has a solution."
"If we did
our jobs, then you will face the future, not with trepidation or anxiety,
but with the experience of having faced a lot of problems in the past,"
Dr. Geller concluded. "You should say, 'I am ready, bring them
Every graduate at
the December 13 Winter Commencement at The University of North Carolina
at Pembroke had list of things to be thankful for.
The oldest graduate
at Winter Commencement, at 66, J.C. Worthington said he was thankful
"for the support of my family." A retired veteran, Worthington
worked several jobs on campus and left with a degree in social work.
Cornelia Murchison's husband Darrall said he was thankful that his wife
"already has a job." Mrs. Murchison graduated in just three
years with a degree in community health education and a job with the
Hoke County Health Department.
Durham native Misty
Sykes also worked on campus with several departments while earning a
master's degree in service agency counseling. She was thankful "that
God gave me the motivation and perseverance to do this."
Erica Wall of Rockingham,
who was holding newborn son, Dawayne, was thankful just to finish her
degree in sociology. "I did it in three years, but I was pregnant
the last semester. It was hard."
A cold, blustery
day did not chill the spirits of the graduates. Chancellor Allen C.
Meadors bid a warm farewell to the record class of graduates with the
advice to "go for it."
to the graduates were Gervais Oxendine for the UNCP Board of Trustees,
Leslie Winner, Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel
for the University of North Carolina, Dr. Thomas Dooling for the faculty,
Nadean Hafner for the Student Government Association and Hal Sargent
II for the Alumni Association.
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