Thousands graduate from Triangle, eastern NC colleges

Posted May 8, 2011

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— Rain and severe weather keep disrupting college graduations across the Triangle and eastern North Carolina, but so far, the weather hasn't been able to stop the celebrations.

Rain forced Meredith College moved its Sunday morning graduation from an amphitheater on campus to the Dorton Arena in the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. Vice Admiral Sally Brice-O’Hara, the second woman to serve as the Coast Guard’s second-in-command, spoke to address about 500 soon-to-be graduates.

Courtney Raishida Brooks Class of 2011

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's graduation went on in Kenan Stadium Sunday morning. It was expected to draw 30,000 people.

The Dorton Arena hosted a graduation Saturday that almost didn't take place.

Shaw University ended the semester eight days early after the April 16 tornadoes that ripped across the campus.

"It was pretty much very devastating to see the place that you call your alma just destroyed, everything that you worked so hard for just destroyed to pieces," Shaw graduate Deonna Leftwich said. "It was very sad that I had to end my senior year like this, but I'm also blessed to still be here."

Many students couldn't finish their coursework, but all seniors expecting to graduate got to walk across the stage and hear their name called at the ceremony.

"The tornado devastation – I'm glad I was off campus at the time, but with my grades and school work, it made me a little stressed out coming into graduation," Shaw graduate Jayson Royal said.

Shaw, FSU celebrate graduations Shaw, FSU celebrate graduations

Students must fulfill all the academic and financial requirements for graduation before they receive their diploma.

As well on Saturday, Anthony Wilder Miller, the U.S. deputy education secretary, told 500 graduates of Fayetteville State University that life's lessons continue long after degrees are earned.

Peace College in Raleigh held its commencement ceremony on the College Green, with state Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake County, speaking.

Nearly 200 newly minted graduates of Methodist University in Fayetteville heard from Holly Petraeus, a Defense Department employee who gives financial help to military families and is the wife of Gen. David Petreaus, commander of the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan.

Mount Olive College's graduation ceremony Saturday featured keynote speaker Dr. Kay Hall Albertson, president of Wayne Community College.

East Carolina University in Greenville held its graduation on Friday.


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