UNCP graduating students being congratulated by friends and family. PN Photo/Raven Hanning
By Raven Hanning
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke celebrated its graduates on Saturday May 6, 2023. The commencement ceremony began at 8:30 a.m after guests were seated.
The keynote speaker for the event was Chief Lynn Malerba who is the first female chief of the Mohegan Tribe. She is the current U.S Treasurer, and first Native American to hold the position. “Whatever your career choice, make sure it has a positive impact. And don’t forget to make time for your family.” said Chief Malerba to the graduates.
She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from UNCP at the end of her speech.
As graduates walked the stage, many family members were moved to tears and cheers could be heard as students’ names were called.
Chris Singletary is the father of Summer Singletary, a first generation Biology graduate. “I am very proud, and honestly lost for words. Only thing I can think of to say is “Good job” and “Congratulations”.” said Singletary. He works textiles for Gildan and has some college education himself but never finished.
Natasha Dalrymple is the mother of Darius Barrett Jr., a first generation Computer Science Major graduate.“I am excited, overwhelmed, joyful, proud… the list goes on! It’s honestly a blessing that he’s breaking a generational curse. I’m proud of him, very proud.” Said Dalrymple. Dalrymple works in manufacturing at Smithfield. She has an 11th grade education.
Darius is the first in his entire family to graduate from college.
Students also felt the emotions of finally crossing the stage after four years of hard work. Many graduates were smiling and others were moved to tears.
Caleb Gilbert is a second generation Computer Science graduate. “Being second generation definitely pushed me to graduate, but it’s honestly sad seeing some of the other graduates for the last time.”
Caleb is pursuing his Masters at UNCP and thinking about pursuing a doctorate.
The Commencement Ceremony ended on many high notes and many goodbyes, wrapping up the 2022-2023 academic year.
Spring 2023 Graduation Photos: