Thousands of NC grads toss caps Saturday
Posted May 12, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. — The top U.S. law enforcement officer was among the high-profile speakers encouraging newly minted college graduates across North Carolina to use their lives to make a difference.
The festivities began as early as 8 a.m. Saturday at North Carolina Central University, where Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, told graduates to fight against injustice.
"You live at a turning point in history," Barber told 536 graduates at NCCU. "If our values are right and our budgets are just, we can build a better society. We can finish the job of being, in word and deed, one nation under God with liberty and justice for all." Your photos: Class of 2012
The nation's top law enforcement officer, U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, told 245 law students graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to think about the legacy they will build.
"You are among the most prepared to affect meaningful change no matter what path you chose," Holder said. "With all that you possess and all that you have been given, you have a special responsibility to our nation and to this world."
Holder, the first African-American attorney general, was chosen by a committee of law students from the graduating class.
In Raleigh, graduates of North Carolina State University were saluted by alumnus and San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. The record-setting quarterback who graduated from NC State in 2003 told more than 5,200 graduates to identify their priorities and then plan to protect them.
"You are on the brink of your greatest challenge yet; don't take that step without a firm commitment to your priorities," Rivers told graduates. "On what foundation will you build your future?"
In Greensboro, First Lady Michelle Obama urged graduates of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to follow the example of four fellow who started the sit-in movement for desegregation more than half a century ago. She said their actions are an example of what young people can do to change the world.
Campbell University graduates celebrated the end of their college careers at the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center in Buies Creek Saturday morning, while Shaw University students turned their tassels at J.S. Dorton Arena on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.
Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will hold commencement ceremonies outdoors Sunday morning. An approaching low-pressure system will bring clouds to the area early in the day, but any significant rain showers won't arrive until later in the day.
Commencement ceremonies in Chapel Hill, where New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will speak, begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday in Kenan Stadium. Duke's ceremonies, which will be held in Wallace Wade Stadium, begin at 10 a.m. Journalist and author Fareed Zakaria will deliver remarks to the graduates.
"Showers will more than likely hold off until Monday, but we can't completely rule out some sprinkles or showers late in the day Sunday," Moss said.
High temperatures on Sunday will be similar to Saturday, topping out in the mid-70s after starting in mid-50s.
Rain chances will linger in the forecast Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, as high temperatures climb into the mid-to-upper 70s each day.