Dr. Fauci and Dr. Corbett speak at UNC-Chapel Hill commencement
Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett are giving commencement speeches at UNC-Chapel Hill on Friday.
endemics, political unrest and economic uncertainty, Tar hills like the class of 1971 who this year marked the 50th anniversary of their graduation and who wish they could be on the field with you today. This ceremony and this moment reminds us of our history as the nation's first public university. It reminds us that we are here because for generations the people of north Carolina have sacrificed and invested in your futures. This university's purpose, its very existence is to serve this state. You are here to fully experience and appreciate this long history of service that extends all the way back To 1789 and third. We know rituals matter rituals, ground us in the familiar and remind us of our place in the world. At a jewish wedding, The hookah signifies the new home. A couple is building together, christian baptism signifies being reborn into a new life. This week, Muslims around the world celebrate the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and reflection that grounds them in their faith and compassion for others. Many rituals symbolize the endurance of trials and becoming something new. Taking a sip at the old well signifies the hope of a new semester lighting the bell tower, celebrate special moments in our communities life together. That is what today is about. You have defeated the obstacles, overcome the odds and made it. Yeah, john f Kennedy once said, do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger. You have become stronger. The ways you've had to endure and fight through this pandemic will pay dividends someday. You have adapted and the lessons of this year are important and worth celebrating. You will face other challenges in your life. Who knows, maybe next year, five years or 25 years from now. I hope that you will look back on 2020 and think about how you've persevered, how you have helped others amid the struggles and the obstacles you face. This is what great universities do. We are the University of the people and we teach one another in our society how to adapt to to solve the grand challenges of our time. You will do the same in the next years to come. And so today, let's celebrate you Carolina's Class of 2021. I've loved being your chancellor this year and every year, it's been so fun to look out of my office window at the old well and see how many of you were out there over the past few weeks taking pictures in your Carolina, blue caps and gowns. So please join me in a round of applause for all of our graduates. Yeah. Yeah. Mhm. Okay. It's now my pleasure to introduce a few of my distinguished colleagues on the platform who also believe in your capacity and in the promise of your Carolina education. I will call their names and ask them to stand and remain standing. Please hold your applause until I have recognized everyone Ron Strauss executive vice provost and chair of the commencement committee. Amy johnson, Vice Chancellor for student Affairs. Deans of the school's Dean Wesley Burkes School of Medicine. Dean Angela Shuba Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Dean Gary Bowman, I'm sorry. Dean Gary Bowen School of Social Work, Dean Barbara Reimer Gillings School of Public Health, interim Dean julie Byerly Adams School of Dentistry and Dean Nina Paragallo Montano School of Nursing. Your senior class president chris Suggs and vice president to Maya troy round of applause Mhm. It is now my pleasure to welcome other representatives to bring greetings on behalf of the many constituencies that make up this great university, bringing greetings virtually representing the university of the north Carolina system. President Peter Hans, representing the board of governors of the University of north Carolina system. David powers representing the board of trustees. Chair Richard stevens, representing the faculty, faculty, chair Mimi chapman, representing the graduate and professional student government. President Ryan Collins, representing the alumni, General alumni association, board of directors, Chair Jill Gammons. We will begin with. President Hans. Thank you Chancellor Guskiewicz and thank you to everyone at Carolina for extraordinary work. An extraordinary time To the class of 2021. You made it. I think it's much too early for any of us to draw hard lessons from the last year to know how well remember this time or make it part of our life stories. Some of us may be tempted to forget it altogether and I understand why this isn't the college finale any of you pictured or that any of us wanted for you. But for all the losses began small of the year gone by, there has never been a better moment for new beginnings. The world is more uncertain than any of us imagined and that's unsettling. But it's also freeing you're graduating into a moment of unique possibility a once in a generation openness to new ideas and new ways of doing things, at least in my lifetime, there has never been a better moment to imagine what comes next for you, For the people you love and care about for the world at large. For those of you with solid plans and a clear path, you have my admiration and good wishes for those of you. Still not sure what tomorrow will bring. Well, welcome to the club turns out, that's all of us all of the time. You still have the chance to do enormous good in the world, no matter what the day brings so on behalf of the UNC system and your classmates across the state. Congratulations and well done. On this special day, I am delighted to bring greetings to graduates and their families on behalf of the University of north Carolina. Board of Governors and UNC President Peter hans To the class of 21. What you have accomplished this year will be remembered well, you have persevered and you have achieved so much despite challenges. No one could have predicted. I salute your work ethic and you're determined spirit. Chancellor Gus quits. Thank you for your leadership. During this unusual year, you're taking this great university to an even greater future with your collaborative approach and clear vision from my work on the board of governors, I have been privileged to see firsthand the recent progress of this historic university and student access and academic excellence and scientific discovery. When we look at public research universities across the nation, UNC Chapel Hill is often leading the way and graduates, you have made your mark on this campus as well. Your contributions, your very presence has helped make this university what it is today. You should be proud and I hope you have gratitude in your hearts for those who helped bring you to this moment, for your family and friends who cheered you during your academic journey. But also for the brilliant faculty and dedicated staff who have worked tirelessly for your education. They have provided inspiration and yes, maybe sometimes they had to hold your feet to the fire. When times were tough, I'd like to recognize one of your best today. Dr Sharon James, a professor of classics who recently won the Board of Governors 2021 Award for excellence in teaching. When asked about her teaching philosophy, Dr James said learning is a process and I seek to help students be patient with themselves in that process and gain confidence as they go. When you think about it. You've had amazing people in your corner all along. Today is the day to thank them as you prepare for life after Carolina. Your time here has also been a celebration, celebration of the rich physical cultural and intellectual diversity that Carolina offers. The joys of new friends, the rigors of your academic study and the robust debate of ideas all contributed to your growth as a student and a well rounded individual, ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead. Mark Twain once said that the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why I challenge you today to take your Carolina experience and find your wife graduates. Congratulations. Best of luck to you always have some fun along the way and never forget that you're a tar heel. I'm richard stevens and I have the honour of chairing the UNC Chapel Hill Board of trustees. I've been greetings on behalf of the board for the class of 2021 December graduates of the class of 2020. Congratulations. We are so proud of you. And the hard work that has gotten you to this moment into this celebration. Every commencement ceremony is special. But this one at the end of a long and difficult year takes on particular significance in the history of this nation's first public university. For over 227 years, the university has persevered through war, economic, depression, and prior pandemics. Yeah, because I look to our future, I am confident that this university will continue to persevere and I feel the same confidence in you are graduates as a class. You have faced many challenges and yet you have continued to learn and to grow as you head out into the world. You will face uncertainty, risk and trials, but you won't face them alone. That's the best part of Carolina. You will take the friendships, you formed the skills you've learned and the memories of this place with you. Last year was my 50th class reunion. I am still being shaped by this university In the year 2071. I hope you will be back for your 50th reunion as well. In the meantime, I want you to remember one thing as a loveless once said, you may work on Wall Street or you may work on Main Street. But don't ever forget franklin Street. Never forget what this university has given you. And in time I know you will find ways to give back to the university. Thank you and heart. The sound Hello graduating tar heels. What a journey you have made since your first days on the Chapel Hill campus. As your faculty, we have witnessed firsthand your grit, adaptability, creativity, kindness, and your tenacity as you have overcome the challenges that come with any educational endeavor. But your journey has had the overlay of a global pandemic and the cultural shifts and confrontations that have changed us all. Let's look back for a moment to 1921 100 years ago, three years after the First World War and the global flu pandemic that took the lives of 675,000 people. In the US alone, 1921 was the year of the Tulsa race massacre, long known as the worst single act of racial violence in the United States. Albert Einstein was discussing his new theory of relativity and the world series was broadcast by radio for the first time that year, Adolf Hitler assumed the position of the leader of the national Socialist german workers Party. There were anti colonial protests in Cairo and immigration quotas aimed at keeping out southern and eastern Europeans were imposed in the United States. Yet in London, the international pin is founded to foster friendship among the global Association of Writers and here at home the future president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was diagnosed with polio, an insulin that would change diabetes from a fatal to a chronic condition, was isolated. At the University of Toronto, the first black pilot, Bessie Coleman reached France and was the first black person to earn an international pilot's license. It was a world of possibilities, uncertainties, bright lights and deep despair. Not so unlike the challenges that await you today. As you leave this time of preparation, learning and growth to start doing the work that you were called to do as your faculty. We hope you will take a little bit of us with you. Perhaps there was the moment that the physics concept finally made sense, or the novel that you were exposed to, shifted your thinking. The first year seminar that put you on a quest for a whole new career or the class discussion that showed you the variety of ways people live and think in this great big world. Perhaps there was the professor that listened when you were having a personal struggle, encouraged you to study abroad or supported you in applying for the coveted internship. We hope you remember a moment in the Ackland Museum when a work of art changed the conversation or performances at playmakers or Carolina performing arts that left you breathless and eager to talk about them. Those are the moments that most of us as faculty live for that. Keep us coming back to this campus year after year. The other hope that motivates us is knowing that you are going out into the world to take what you've learned and apply it to the challenges of our time. We have joined with you in research and scholarship in the classroom and beyond and we have confidence that you will take this knowledge to work for a more just society across the divides that seem so insurmountable. Right now, each of your steps are different and all are important. Maybe you are heading toward an additional degree or a job across the country. You may be heading home to help your family and contribute to the community you've known all your life. Whatever your next step is, it is not the last. You will make your path by walking it. And we, the faculty of the University of north Carolina at Chapel Hill are honored to have been a part of it will be cheering you on with every step you take. Congratulations. Hello Friends. I'm Ryan Collins Uns School of Law Class of 2021. An outgoing president of graduate and professional student government on behalf of GPS G. I want to extend my warmest congratulations to all of you on your graduation today. For all of us, undergraduates, masters, doctoral and professional students. This is the combination, not only of years of rigorous academic study and practical training, but also one of the most difficult years in our nation's history. You have shown an incredible amount of perseverance and resilience all while advancing intellectual and scientific progress, Giving back to your communities and fighting for social justice. I'm proud to stand alongside of you today as a fellow graduate of Carolina, I would like to give a special shout out to my fellow graduate and professional students whether you just finished your final semester of classes or defended your dissertation or completed your clinical rotation. Congratulations on a spectacular accomplishment. And to all those who supported today's graduates along the way. Parents, partners, family, friends, teachers, mentors and so many more. Thank you for everything you have done to get us here. Fellow graduates as we go forth from today, I leave you with the words of the beloved lawyer, Elle Woods. You must always have faith in people and most importantly you must always have faith in yourself. Congratulations You & c. class of 2021. We did it. Hello, I'm Jill Gammon, chair of the General Alumni association Board of directors, congratulations. After years of hard work, countless thrilling discoveries, anxious moments and bottomless cups of coffee. You have earned your cherished degree from Carolina. You and your family can be justifiably proud of your sacrifices and accomplishments and now you join the largest and only permanent part of our Carolina family. You are alumni. There are more than 342,000 living alumni in all 100 North Carolina counties, all 50 states and over 140 nations. And the General Alumni Association is the official organization for all former Carolina students. The G. A. S. Award winning bi monthly magazine and informative email updates will keep you connected with Carolina with your classmates and tar heel friends and with your local Carolina club and other alumni activities. The D. A. Also offers alumni career services and lots of enrichment and networking opportunities. We hope you'll become members of the media and please share your contact information updates with the G. A. Wherever you land so that we can stay in touch with you today. You can take great pride in your Carolina experience, but know this, your Carolina stories are just beginning, live them well and again, congratulations. Commencement is an opportunity for us to recognize extraordinary and accomplished individuals who embody the mission of this great institution and inspire us all. Each year, the faculty and the board of trustees select these individuals for distinguished service to the university, the state, the nation, and the world Upon these individuals. We are privileged to confer honorary degrees in recognition of their exemplary achievement and impact. You may have seen their pictures on the video boards as you entered the stadium today and while we look forward to officially honoring them in the coming days, we want to recognize our recipients this year. And Cates, Doctor of Laws W. Lowry Coddle, Doctor of Laws, cosmic Kia S. Corbett, Doctor of Science, Donald, Williams Curtis Doctor of Laws, Anthony S. Fauci, Doctor of Science, Bernadette Gray Little Doctor of Laws, Carla Hayden, Doctor of laws Isaac Beverly Lake Doctor of Laws and William Edward, Luxembourg, Doctor of Humane Letters. A round of applause for these recipients. Your two commencement speakers today are two incredible leaders in the fight against COVID-19 dr Anthony Fauci is the nation's top infectious disease doctor and has served as the National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases director since 1984. In this role, he oversees research focused on preventing diagnosing and treating established and emerging infectious diseases such as HIV AIDS, respiratory infections, malaria and Ebola. He has received numerous prestigious awards for his scientific and global health accomplishments, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He's been one of the most popular and reassuring faces on national television during the pandemic dr cosmic you. Corbett, one of our own, has been at the forefront of vaccine development As a leading scientist at the National Institutes of Health. She earned her PhD in microbiology and immunology from the UNC School of Medicine in 2014. Her interest in rapid vaccine development led her to a postdoc fellowship at the NIH vaccine Research Center where she studied corona viruses such as SARS and MERS, that work laid the foundation For the speed with which her team developed a COVID-19 vaccine. She is now a research fellow and the scientific lead for the coronavirus vaccines and immune pathogenesis team at the National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases. She will join the faculty at Harvard this fall in the immunology and infectious diseases department. It is our honor to have these two amazing scientists with us today. Thank you, chance to gust hits for that kind. Introduction members of the faculty, distinguished guests, family members, and friends of the graduates and you The 2021 graduating class of the University of North Carolina. It is a personal pleasure and a true honor to be your commencement speaker and I accept with gratitude and humility the honorary degree from this outstanding university. I have had the privilege of delivering several commencement addresses over the years and I invariably have included in these addresses in some manner of form, a reference to the fact that I was in your situation many years ago when I graduated from college and then from medical school. And so I felt that I could directly relate to what you have just experienced as a student. I might then go on to draw analogies from my past to your presence. Well, that just does not pass muster this year for what you have experienced as a result Of the profound upending of your lives by COVID-19 is truly unprecedented. No students, dating back over 100 years since the historic influenza pandemic of 1918 have had this level of disruption to their lives during their student years. Furthermore, the world into which you will enter as you leave, the confines of this beautiful campus has changed dramatically. The adjustments that you will have to make in order to function in the world that awaits you are substantial. No doubt it is going to be tough. However, what I've seen of how you have responded to this pandemic thus far gives me confidence that you will adjust and you will thrive. I have seen from a distance how you have cooperated with your faculty in a program to keep your campus safe and to the degree possible Free of COVID 19 and how you have managed to participate in keeping the university open and functioning while achieving a much lower than expected infection rate. This outcome could only have been accomplished by discipline, teamwork and respect for your fellow students. In addition, several of your unc scientists whom I know quite well are playing major roles in the development of a substantial public health response to this pandemic through the implementation of high impact biomedical research of this. You should feel justly proud. However, as you enter a hurting world that is trying desperately to recover from this historic pandemic that is still raging and whose future course is still uncertain whether you fully realize it or not, you can play an important role in ending the pandemic and in our recovery from it. What do I mean by this leadership? I refer here to your potential for leadership. You are graduating from an extraordinary institution. The young men and women of the University of north Carolina are the future leaders of our society, a society that has suffered greatly from a public health standpoint, With close to 600,000 deaths in the United States alone and unimaginable physical and mental suffering for millions of others and from an economic standpoint with millions of jobs lost and businesses destroyed. Perhaps irreparably for some, it is a hurting and changed world and the new normal to which we will return may not be entirely the same as the normal From which we departed in January 2020. You are going to play an important role in shaping this new normal. Perhaps it can even be a better norm, but more on that in a bit for certain. You cannot do it alone, but it cannot be done without you and with your leadership. And so in this regard, leadership is a gradual process that you have already begun. When you enrolled here at U N. C. I speak not necessarily have officially designated leadership which actually some of you may assume in your careers. I speak of the leadership that can take many forms, including the quiet and subtle leadership of example, which brings me to my next point of discussion. Covid 19 and the bright light shone on society's failings. Our country's experience with COVID-19 has shed a bright light on one of the great failings in our society. And that is the extraordinary health disparities among minority groups, especially african americans. Hispanics and native americans. These minority groups have a much greater likelihood of getting infected with saws Kobe too, And developing the disease. COVID-19. Because of the nature of the jobs that many of them have is essential work is in society. More importantly, when they get infected with the coronavirus, they have a much greater likelihood of developing a severe consequence of infection due to the greater incidence and prevalence among them of underlying co morbid medical conditions such as hypertension, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity among several others that lead to a multiple increase in hospitalizations and deaths compared to the general population. And, you know, very few of these diseases are racially determined and almost all of them relate to the social determinants of health dating back two conditions that many minorities find themselves in from birth regarding the availability of adequate diet, the lack of access to healthcare and the restriction put upon them by the undeniable racism that exists in our society. And so let us promise ourselves that our memory of this tragic reality that an infectious disease disproportionately hospitalizes and kills people because of the color of their skin and that this does not fade after we returned to our so called new normal. It will take a decades long commitment for society to reverse this trend. And I strongly urge you to be part of that commitment, which brings me to my next point of discussion, public service and social responsibility. I sincerely believe that regardless of our career paths, we cannot look the other way from pressing societal issues. There are still pockets of society here in our own country that are steeped in poverty, drug abuse, violence, health disparities, inadequate education, racism, discrimination, and despair. Some of you may devote your future careers and lives to directly addressing the societal issues, understandably, most of you will not. But in this regard, public service does not necessarily mean a profession or avocation devoted entirely to public service. one can incorporate public service into your lives regardless of your career choice. So please take this into serious consideration and make it part of your lives. This might hopefully help counter another sad truth prevalent in our society, unprecedented divisiveness, which is my next point of discussion, Covid 19 and a divided nation. Throughout most of the year 2020, I was a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force under President Donald trump in that capacity. I, together with my colleagues on the task force, try to persuade the country to follow certain public health guidelines that could dampen the outbreak that was evolving and continues to evolve into the most devastating pandemic Of a respiratory disease in over 100 years. Clearly, we have a common enemy, The SARS Cov two virus and a common enemy requires a unified and consistent response. The guidelines that we developed required restrictions on society that clearly were painful and had enormous economic and individual personal consequences. However, these restrictions were necessary and ultimately saved lives. I would have thought that as a nation, we would all pull together similar to what we had done Following the terrorist attacks of 9 11 or even during World War Two. However, sadly, that has not always happened tragically, the pandemic brought to the surface the intense and glaring divisiveness in our society that led to the practice of proven public health countermeasures such as wearing a mask. We're avoiding congregate settings to take on a strong political connotation. What surprised me and frankly, continues to frighten me is the willingness of so many people to believe in alternative facts and deny reality. That is staring them right in the face, such as believing or pretending to believe That the almost 600,000 deaths from COVID-19 is fake news or a hoax. It took an historic pandemic, which I is a scientist, physician and public health official was deeply involved in, and which forced me at times to unfortunately come into conflict with the President of the United States to impress upon me how destructive to our nation is, the current palpable divisiveness among us. And so, as you leave this extraordinary institution, whether you are a democrat, republican or independent, please do not allow differences of opinion that you might have lead to outright hostility. We will not fare well as a nation through the current challenge of a pandemic and the inevitable future challenges that our country will face if we do not pull together with a singular purpose of the common good. Finally, let us talk about Joy. I have been speaking to you over the past few minutes about the serious issues that we are facing In the context of this historic pandemic of COVID-19. Let me assure you as a public health person who was devoting every waking hour, and even some of my dreams to ending this pandemic, that it will end. And we will come out of this stronger than we were before this challenge. I promise you that, and so putting this serious business aside for a moment. I want to close with a reminder about the joyousness of your life ahead. Allow yourselves to cultivate this joy as much as you do. Your professional accomplishments as you might expect. Different pursuits and activities provide joy in different ways to different people. Find your own source of joy and happiness and fully embrace it and let the sounds of your life to be heard before I close. I am pleased to express my pleasure in sharing the stage with one of your own, my NIH colleague in a true Tar heel dr cosmic EOC orbit, congratulations to you, to your families and to your loved ones, Good luck and God bless you! Tar, wait, is it too soon? Have we gotten to the moment in the program where we're all exhausted and just ready to go home home? A word that most certainly takes on a different meaning after the past year. Home is where the heart is. They say home, thank you to Chancellor Guskiewicz for welcoming me back home. Thank you to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill class of 2021 for simply being here. I think that that is all that we can ask of students after the past year, especially students who embarked upon such different and maybe even difficult times in order to finish off their college career. Congratulations. You did it, You did it boldly, You did it fearlessly. You did it intelligently and the prize of it all is that you did it in a pandemic. I jokingly talked to you about leaving this ceremony to go home to the place from where you hell. And for some of you, that just may be the case, whether it be a small town in north Carolina, a bustling city on the west coast or one of the many nations around the globe. For some of you, You will leave this 729 acre campus and journey around the world for some of you, you will go off to graduate school to further hone your professional skills for some the vaccinated ones. Of course you will take on a much needed vacation. I almost put a line in this speech about where I was headed after my undergraduate commencement in 2008, but then I realized that my mom is probably going to watch this so I'll spare her the embarrassment. Look mama, I made it nevertheless, no matter where you are headed after this moment, similar to myself, Carolina will always be home. You know, I actually grew up about 10 miles from you and see in Hillsborough north Carolina every single thanksgiving. obviously with the exception of 2020, My extended family gathers at my Mama's house. Just 15 minutes from where you sit Upwards of 50 people come to eat Turkey stuffing, Macaroni and Cheese, Collard Greens, Yams. You name it before we break bread. Right before the blessing we go around the table so that we each can say what we are thankful for. I remember exactly what I said when it was my turn in 2019. The thanksgiving before the pandemic began, I said, as I take the next steps, no matter where my career will take me. The one thing that I am consistently thankful for is having a place to call home home is my grandmother's house on thanksgiving my mother's for christmas. Home to me is in part Hillsborough. I even say the air smells different. Fresher, more peaceful there, no matter how many times I attempt to fry peach pies in Maryland, they will never taste like my grandmother's home. Just isn't about the place you were raised though home is or are the culmination of places that are mass experiences that shape, who you are, that shape, Who you will be home is Carolina, the lecture hall for friday morning pop quizzes, franklin Street for wild Halloween. Sure, with those great things, College may have also presented its obstacles. There is no shame though. I got my first bad grade in college too. Everything may not have been peach pie, but the beautiful thing about this moment as you leave this place, a place that has shaped you for the past four years is that you now have the privilege to decide where you go from here. It is the time when you are becoming who you are destined to be. The time when you are finding your why? A time when you are figuring out your place in this world and where do you belong? Well, I'll tell you something. I am 35 years old and I'm still figuring that part out. But when someone asked me who I am, the things that I know to be true and ingrained are the things that even when they aren't peach pie made me who I am. Those things from home, not just the scientist or the vaccine developer. Those are the things that I am to the world for you. That might be a lawyer or teacher or doctor or preacher, but you're being the part of you that you will take to every single profession or place that you embark on for your lifetime. Those are the things that make you uniquely you. Everyone in that stadium is now a tar heel, but you're being the pieces of you that are unparalleled to anything that anyone else has to offer will come from remembering from where you came from, where you conquered here at you and see. And every other step along the way today, as you sit there perhaps nervous about your future, or uncertain about what is to come, remember that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. You are going exactly where you are destined to go. And as my dad so eloquently put it as he dropped me off at my first apartment. If the world ever mistreat you remember that you always have a home. Congratulations. Yeah. Isn't she wonderful? Um We now turn to the Conf Earl of Degrees. Let's take a moment to recognize our outstanding undergraduates. These seniors are exceptionally accomplished students who exemplify the highest possible level of undergraduate scholarship. Will the candidates for baccalaureate degree with highest honors? Please rise and remain standing. Mhm. And will the candidates for baccalaureate degrees with honors, please rise and remain standing. Mhm. Congratulations to each of you on this outstanding academic achievement. Let's all give them a round of applause. Yeah, I now call upon the Dean's to bring remarks and present their candidates for degrees to the chancellor. The order will be Dean Wesley Burkes School of Medicine. Dean Angela K. Shuba Eshelman School of Pharmacy deemed gary Bowen School of Social work, Dean Barbara Reimer Gillings School of Global Public Health, interim Dean julie Byerly, Adams School of Dentistry and Dean Nina Paragallo Montano School of Nursing. Enjoy. Good afternoon. I'm dr Wesley Burkes, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, To the unc school of medicine class of 2021. Our newest Thornhill doctors. Congratulations and congratulations to the graduating classes from all of our outstanding health of Hair schools. You are entering a truly awesome profession as I've said to you many times in the last few years. After several decades, I cannot imagine doing anything else. I can remember many years ago. The first patient and family who really thought I was there real doctor. I remember the first patient we lost despite our best efforts. And I can remember when we first made a rare diagnosis and understanding what that meant for the future of that patient and family, you will have your stories soon as well. You're entering the field of medicine at one of the most critical points in our history. Your class has faced challenges unlike any class before you and you have faced them with great compassion and empathy for each other. As you move into the next phases of your careers, you'll take strong bonds that will serve you for years to come and the knowledge that you can face and overcome any challenge. I encourage you to remember the privilege that we have to serve our patients and to be welcomed into their lives in ways few will ever experience, never lose sight of that or take it for granted, strive each day to be worthy of the trust that will be placed in you again. Congratulations to each one of you. Now, Chancellor Moskowitz, I am pleased to present to you the candidates for degrees in the UNC School of Medicine. Will these students please rise? Please be seated. Good afternoon students, parents, family and friends. I am Angela Koshiba, Dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. It is truly an honor to share this special day with each of you and to see you to really see you in person is so exciting. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate each graduate from the Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy and doctor of Pharmacy programs at the U. N. C. Eshelman School of Pharmacy. I would also like to recognize family and friends who are in person today and watching virtually who have contributed to our students successes. The completion of a U. N. C. Eshelman School of Pharmacy degree is a substantial accomplishment for not only our graduates but also their family, friends and professors who deserve recognition graduates. You have each endured so much over this past year to get to this moment and I am continuously inspired and uplifted by your courage, your motivation and your resilience in earning your degrees while also meeting a global pandemic head on. Your pursuit of excellence in advancing the fields of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences is unparalleled. While we continue to fight COVID-19. I have watched in awe as you have been part of the solution early in the pandemic. You worked in our laboratories on groundbreaking therapies to help patients fighting the virus. You worked alongside faculty members to provide COVID-19 testing in low-income communities across the Tar Heel State. You mobilize your peers to support elderly residents struggling with isolation. You spent months learning how to prepare and administer covid 19 vaccines and worked on distribution and storage solutions. And last december, you administered the first Covid 19 vaccines in Chapel Hill and Hillsborough and Asheville. Today you continue to volunteer your time testing and vaccinating patients across north Carolina. Class of 2021. I am so proud of you. I give you my warmest congratulations for success in your future endeavors and I know you will continue to grow and excel in solving the world's most pressing health issues. The world needs you more now than ever. Now. It's time to go forth and continue advancing medicine for life. Chancellor Guskiewicz, I am pleased to present to you the candidates for degrees in the U N. C. Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Will these students please rise? Mhm Yeah, you guys rock. You may be seated greetings, School of Social work, PhD and MSW graduates. You are among the most special graduates we have ever celebrated our centennial class. The 100th cohort of graduates from our school. What an incredible legacy and greetings to the many others who are joining us today to celebrate your accomplishments. Please allow me to extend a special hello and welcome to your family members and friends who are celebrating with us. Today. You are joining the ranks of more than 5000 U. N. C. School of Social Work alumni. You have demonstrated your resilience and your perseverance through conditions that no other graduating class has endured. You have succeeded in extraordinary times and I am proud of each one of you and I'm so pleased that you have devoted yourself to pursuing a career in social work. As you enter into your first post. MSW are PhD social work position. I encourage you to fly the flag of social justice to carry the shield of social work values and ethics and use the sword of evidence and form practice to advance equity, to transform systems and to improve lives As social workers. We have much work to do but I feel a sense of confidence and informed optimism as I think about you, Our 2021 graduating class and the work ahead and the future of social work have trust and confidence in who you are as social workers. Although you are concluding your formal studies, you're learning and your professional and personal development as a social worker will continue Your relationship with one another with your faculty and with the UNC school of social work will continue as well as noted on the UNC website Carolina isn't just a place you go, it's a place you take with you to inspire, protect, create and transform, I encourage you to draw strength from your unC roots to follow your calling and to offer yourselves and your knowledge and expertise. two others in the form of professional practice and service. Congratulations. Class of 2021, enjoy this your special day with one another and with your family and friends. Chancellor dusk a witch. I am pleased to present to you the candidates for Doctor of Philosophy and Master of social work with these students. Please rise. Mhm. Uh huh. Please be seated. Good afternoon. My name is Barbara Reimer and I'm dean of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Congratulations, Gillings graduates and all graduates. We celebrate you and the people who helped you along the way. Our student government leaders described gilling students as passionate, purpose driven analytic, real world dreamers with heart. The next generation of public health professionals and leaders, I could not agree more For some of you, The COVID-19 pandemic dominated up to half your time as students. For each of you, your families and friends, it's been a life changing event that stopped the world and killed nearly 600,000 people in this country alone. It's been a tragedy that has taken the lives of people you love. You are graduates of Gillings and other schools we celebrate today but you are also graduates of the pandemic. It taught you many lessons about the world, public health equity and yourselves. You built resilience as you completed your degrees, although it was stressful and sometimes extremely so you adapted your Here you finished. You are an extraordinary group of public health and other graduates. In the most extraordinary of times you have strength you might never have discovered. Were it not for the pandemic? The world needs you, it needs you more than ever. Public health is one of the world's most important functions. Gillings training and your own resilience will prepare you to serve and lead through this crisis and others that happen in the future for all graduates as you navigate the world in the aftermath of the pandemic. Give yourself some time and space to make sense of it all. Be patient and persevere. If everything doesn't go as planned, you may find new sources of excitement and satisfaction and opportunities you might never have imagined. One of my heroes, The late ted Kennedy said that his greatest lesson learned in life was perseverance. He said that you might not reach your goal right away. But if you do your best and keep a true compass, you'll get there. We believe in you and in your capacity to achieve your dreams. You are the ones who are going to make the world safer, more equitable, healthier and greener. We wish you professional success, love joy and peace. I hope you will continue to volunteer in communities around the world as you have during the pandemic. I leave you with words from the song of songs um that I think really resonate in this time. And I hope the words mean something to you all low. The sorry, the winner is past, the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth. The season of singing has come, life is returning now is your time, It is tar heel time the pandemic will end. The more people get vaccinated, the faster it will end go in peace and good health Chancellor Guskiewicz, I am thrilled to present to you the candidates for degrees in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Will these students please rise? Thank you all for choosing Gillings in U. N. C. Please be seated. Good afternoon. I'm julie Byerly, the interim dean of the Adams School of Dentistry. And I am honored to be here with you today. Dentistry is a profession that demands intellectual accomplishment, expert, fine motor skills, engaging communication, physical stamina and compassionate service to others. It is not easy graduates from the dental school, you have demonstrated that breadth of excellence and we are so very proud of you today. We graduate dentist dental hygienist scholars and residents from our advanced dental education programs in a variety of specialties. You, the class of 2021 have faced unprecedented hardships. Yet our focus today is on your future. While we are incredibly proud of what you have done, we are still more proud of all you will accomplish. The challenges you have faced have cultivated nimble minds and you as creative thinkers ready for whatever comes your way. You will improve health, relieve pain and suffering, bolster self confidence and improve social standing through your work and oral health. Your futures are as diverse as your backgrounds. Some of you venture to serve patients through clinical practice and varied parts of our state and we need you for that. Some of you will pursue advanced training in your specialty or discipline, becoming an orthodontist, periodontist or other oral health professional. Some of you seek careers in discovery or teaching and each of you will be a leader, whatever your choice and whatever your field, we know that you will be a professional of the highest caliber who will improve health and well being through the populations that you serve on behalf of our faculty and staff. Congratulations to all of the graduates here and especially to those of the atom school of Dentistry class of 2021 Chancellor Guskiewicz, I am pleased to present to you the candidates for degrees in the UNC adam School of Dentistry. Will you please stand okay? Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. You may be seated. Good afternoon. I'm nana Paragallo Montana, dean of the U. N. C School of Nursing. And it is my pleasure today to honor Carolina nursing graduates and all graduates. Congratulations to Euro. We have much to celebrate today. I would like to take this time to wish all of our new graduates faculty and all nurses. happy nurses week. Thank you for all you do to keep us healthy and safe. It couldn't be more fitting that we celebrate our graduates today. During this week dedicated to honoring our nation's nurses and in many ways they make a difference in our lives. This year, the role of nurses has taken a center stage This last 14 months have challenged us in ways we couldn't have imagined. And the pandemic has demanded the frontline skill, knowledge, compassion and courage of nurses all over the world. That Carolina nursing. Our faculty have rapidly become expert in remote teaching and our students have made many sacrifices and adjustments in their modes of learning and throughout all these changes, Carolina nursing students have also been in the front lines, assisting in north Carolina's response To the COVID-19 pandemic. By volunteering at testing sites delivering vaccines and serving in areas of critical needs To say that I'm proud of what you have accomplished together. We have accomplished together. We would be an understatement. Family members and friends. We know this occasion marks the combination of a journey for you too. As you have encouraged and supported your loved one as they give us all and more that we ask from them, you have a great reason to be proud. Honor graduates. You are now transitioning from student to alumni of the school of nursing, as well as valued colleagues to those of us who have been privileged to be part of your education. We hope that in the future you will return to the school often and hold dear The memories and friendships you made while you were among us. Treasure the gift of your education. But please remember that is a professional. You have only begun what will be a journey of life long learning. We bid you farewell for now and wish you for rewarding and fulfilling careers. Go forward and make us proud as Carolina nurses. Chancellor Gasque of it. I'm pleased to present to you the candidates for degrees in the UNC school of Nursing. Will these students please rise? Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Congratulations to everybody. You can see it. Okay, well, all degree candidates please rise by virtue of the authority vested in the University of north Carolina by the state of north Carolina and by the university entrusted to me, I hereby confer upon you the degree for which the faculty has certified you together with all the rights and privileges there unto pertaining. And I offer you my warmest. Congratulations. Mhm. Please be seated. I now invite Chris Suggs, President of the Senior Class, to say a few words on behalf of the class of 2021. At the conclusion of his remarks, he will be joined by senior class vice president to Maya Troy. And together they will lead you in the switching of your tassel signifying your graduation from the University of north Carolina. A chapel hill chris wow. When I think of home, I think of my eastern north Carolina hometown of kinston, sitting on the front porch with my grandmother watching, watching the neighbors as they walk or drive by for the rest of you home, maybe some other community across our great state around the world that nurtured you and built you into the brilliant person that you are today. But for each of us, I hope that when we arrived on the brick past and lush squads of our beautiful campus, we found a second home in Carolina. This home at Carolina might not smell of grandma's sweet potato pie or provide you with a curfew of when to be inside for dinner. In fact, this campus home probably provided more freedom to learn and explore that one could have ever imagined Over these last few years in which many of us have been here at Carolina. We've seen our university community at its best and its most vulnerable for undergraduates. We entered the university on the hills of a national championship and got to rush franklin street at least twice. During our first year we were a part of the fearless activism that led to the removal of silent SAm and have contributed so much to make this campus one that is welcoming and inclusive for all. Yeah, I think we were torn apart by a deadly pandemic and global unrest through the racial injustice which both have hit home for far too many of us in this stadium. In recent weeks we were brought together again to celebrate the impact of and wish well in his retirement. One of the greatest tar heels of all time. Our coach Roy Williams. Yeah. Mhm. My hope is that as we depart from home, whether you consider that to be Chapel Hill, your hometown or simply the people with whom you feel most safe, we always remember and cherish it. Take a moment to recognize those who have made home special, your families, your friends, the falcon. He and other members of our university community and the people sitting around you today. Friends, classmates, fellow graduates. It has been an honor to be on this journey with you and to serve as class president for such a resilient class. Congratulations to each of us. Yeah. As the vice president for the class of 2021. I am privileged to lead you in the turning of your tassels from right to left, signifying your new status. Congratulations. Mm. Yeah. Mhm. Mhm. Thanks chris into Maya. Thank you very much. Congratulations graduates. You now join the over 340,000 living alumni of the University of North Carolina at Chapel hill. As chris just mentioned one of those great alumni coach, Roy Williams, arguably one of the best to ever coach the game of basketball. Sitting next to coach Williams at his final press conference at the smith Center. I remember the words he said, looking out at members of the teams he's coached over the years and he said, I've been so lucky because of those players. And nothing is better than seeing the look on your guys faces when you accomplish something. That's really hard. You, the class of 2021 have accomplished something really hard and along with your faculty, your families and your friends, we were so lucky to have been on this journey with you. We celebrate what you've accomplished and we're excited about your future. Speaking of great coaches, I'm going to leave you With one piece of advice and it comes from Jason Sudeikis. If you've seen the Apple tv series, Ted lasso, you'll remember an important dart game as Ted's playing. He talks about how people have underestimated him his entire life and he never understood why. Mhm. Until he heard a quote from walt Whitman. Mm hmm. Mhm Give Me 10 seconds. Mhm Yeah, the quote from walt Whitman was be curious, not judgmental and he realized that people who used to belittle him weren't curious. They judged everyone and they had no idea who he actually was because if they were curious, they would have asked questions, questions like have you ever played a lot of darts? Ted the answer was yes. Ted used to play darts every sunday afternoon with his dad and when the stakes were highest, ted hits to triple twenties in a bullseye to win. As we conclude today's ceremony, that is my message to you. Be curious, not judgmental in my own research on concussions. Every time we answer a new question, new questions emerge. So keep asking the questions and don't assume that you know, all the answers. I don't think you know who someone is just by looking at them. If there's anything you've learned here at Carolina, I hope it's that there is still so much that you don't yet know, keep learning and growing keep asking questions, especially of the people who have different experiences who are unique, who see the world differently than you do. And I hope that like Ted Lasso, you remember that when others underestimate you. It's because they themselves aren't curious, they don't know your story and they haven't asked the right questions. Remember that and then go win that dark game before we close. It's my honor to continue another Carolina tradition. Well, the families and friends of our graduates, please rise. Families and friends here in the stadium and at home and graduates, it's now your turn to say thank you. Yeah. Okay. I also want to take the opportunity to thank all of our staff and the support team across many departments who have worked tirelessly to make it possible for us to gather here today. Under these unique conditions, please join me in a round of applause for this incredible team. We would now like to offer one last tribute to the class of 2021 afterwards, please remain in your seats until the platform. Party exits the field and then graduates will exit the field on their left or right to join your families in the concourse level. Now, please turn your attention to the video board one last time for performances by the U. N. C. Cliffhangers, harmonics and the Tar hill marching band. Mhm Do in my mind, I'm gone to Carolina up. Can't you see the sunshine? Can't you just feel the moonshine And ain't it just like a friend of mine to hit me from behind? Yes, I'm gone to Carolina and my mind carrying jesus Elvis son, you best walk away and watch it shot, watch her, watch the morning car, a servant here appearing now and I'm crying and I'm gone to Carolina, no doubt. No one's mind the finest thing around. She whisper something soft, kinds. Hey baby skies are five cause I'm gone. In my mind. I'm going to Carolina. Can't you see the sunshine? Can't you just feel the moonshine, Ain't it? Just like a friend of mine to hit me from behind? Yes, I'm gone to Carolina and mine dark inside and last night I think I might have for the highway calling into geese in fighting dogs that bite signs that might be owned and say, I'm going, I'm going, I'm going to Carolina in my mind with the host of others standing around me, still among the dark side of it seems like it goes on like this forever. You must forgive me. I've been gone. Caroline mind in my mind, I'm going to Carolina. Can't you see the sunshine? Can't you just feel the moonshine, ain't it? Just like a friend of mine to hear me from behind. Yes, I'm going to Carolina in my mind. Yes, I'm gone to Carolina in my mind. Gone, gone, gone. When I'm gone. Won't you say nice things about me when I'm gone? No, I won't. You carry on without me when I'm gone? Mhm. Yeah, hardly sound of tar heel voices ringing clear and true singing Carolina's phrases shouting and see you hail to the price of a, of a clear it's radio shy Carolina price question. Receive all praises. The guy. Yeah, yeah. I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah.