December 2013 Commencement
UNC Asheville Graduates Get Ready to Change the World One Step at a Time
(December 14, 2013)
UNC Asheville’s newest graduates will never forget their Commencement – not just because of what was said, but because of what they did.
The 263 December graduates took a stand during their ceremony at the request of Commencement speaker Mary Lynn Manns, UNC Asheville professor of management, winner of the university’s 2013 Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award, and a well-known Zumba instructor on campus. She surprised the crowd and students with some music and encouraged the graduates to dance fearlessly, a theme in her co-authored books book Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas (Addison-Wesley, 2004) and the forthcoming More Fearless Change.
“As you continue to change the world,” said Manns, “Think of your journey as a dance. You take a few steps forward, a few backward, sort of like the steps we just did. But don’t stop. … Whatever you do in life, keep moving, work hard, and have lots of fun doing it! You are ready. ... Your experiences at a liberal arts university have liberated you to do many things – to be leaders who can truly change the world.”
Chancellor Anne Ponder also greeted the graduates with a similar sentiment, saying “You already excel in being collaborative, innovative, smart, purposeful and confident. Each and every one of you has what you need – the tools, skills and the inspiration necessary to tackle some of the most difficult and pressing issues facing our world today.”
For more about the Commencement Address and profiles of some distinguished graduates who are already making an impact through their research and work, visit UNC Asheville’s News Center.
And for a look at December 2013 Commencement through the lens of social media, see the Storify page.