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Rituals and Regalia at December Hooding Ceremony

UNC Greensboro conferred 121 doctoral degrees during its Doctoral Hooding Ceremony in UNCG Auditorium on Dec. 12, 2019. The new graduates were “launched to become the next generation of scholars, researchers, and professionals,” Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. said.

“The rituals and formalities, the pomp and circumstance, are symbolic of the hallowed place that doctoral education holds both in the Academy and here at UNC Greensboro,” he said. “I want to extend to you my congratulations and respect for this accomplishment.”

Greetings were provided by Dr. Kelly J. Burke, vice provost and dean of The Graduate School, Dr. Anthony Chow, faculty senate chair and professor in the Department of Library and Information Science, and Betsy Oakley, chair of the UNCG Board of Trustees.

Provost Dana L. Dunn provided welcoming remarks, calling this milestone the ‘pinnacle of higher education achievement.’ 

The address, “We Are All Bound Up Together,” was given by Dr. Heidi Hanrahan, 2018 West Virginia Professor of the Year and professor of English at Shepherd University, inspired by poet Frances Watkins Harper’s 1866 speech at the National Women’s Rights Convention. Hanrahan received her MA and her PhD in English from UNCG. 

“Graduates, I am convinced that all of you, whether you find yourself in the classroom, the hospital room, the laboratory, the boardroom, the music hall, or even the open air, are perfectly positioned to do the hard work we are called to do. And let’s be clear: There is so much work to be done, on the local and global scale,” she said.

Dr. Burke presented the 121 degree candidates, and Chancellor Gilliam officially conferred the degrees. With Robert Wells reading each name, the faculty advisor draped the colorful hood over each graduate’s robe, signifying their doctoral status. 

Then, the chancellor addressed the new doctoral graduates, imploring them to be their authentic selves. He stressed the value of perseverance, comparing it to a marathon, not a sprint. “What got you here is your resilience.”  

With the ceremony concluded, the UNCG Graduate Brass Quintet struck up the recessional music, and the new degree holders made their way into the late afternoon sun to enjoy well-wishes and hugs from friends and family.

[Original Story by Mike Harris, University Communications]