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'Enjoy the journey:' Thousands graduate across Triangle

Posted May 13

Thousands of Triangle-area college students became college graduates Saturday as several universities held commencement ceremonies.

North Carolina Central University awarded 725 diplomas Saturday morning at O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium in Durham. A degree earned by Clayton police officer William McIntosh received special attention.

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McIntosh, a 12-year police veteran, earned his bachelor of science in criminal justice through NCCU's distance education program at Wake Technical Community College. As part of his coursework, McIntosh designed a physical fitness standard for law enforcement officers based on the Fitbit health tracker that has since been deployed by Clayton's Police Department.

“William’s journey shows that the race is not given to the swift, but to those who endure to the end,” Akinleye said.

NCCU honors 2017 grads

Joan Higginbotham, a retired astronaut and member of NCCU's Board of Trustees, urged graduates to have a plan and not be afraid to alter it during their adult lives.

In Raleigh, North Carolina State University handed out 5,871 degrees.

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane spoke to the large crowd gathered at PNC Arena, telling graduates they should always believe in themselves and enjoy the "journey" as they move into the next phase of their lives.

Meredith College held commencement exercises for the Class of 2017 in Dorton Arena.The address was given by Becky Jacobs, chief engagement officer at Simple Change Wellness.

“You have learned about your strengths, created a plan for success. You’ve built relationships that will provide a life-long support structure,” Jacobs said. “You’ve learned who you are as a leader, and as a person.”

Campbell University in Buies Creek and Meredith College in Raleigh will also hold graduation ceremonies Saturday, while the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University will celebrate their classes of 2017 on Sunday.

UNC's ceremony begins at 9 a.m. at Kenan Memorial Stadium on campus. Duke's graduation ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m.

Read WRAL's full graduation guide for school's across the region.


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