In a ceremony shortened by rain, Radford University observed its 2012 Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 5, with President Penelope W. Kyle conferring degrees on nearly 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Kyle drew cheers and applause from graduates and guests, many in rain gear or huddled under umbrellas, when she proposed condensing the main event so individual colleges could begin the ceremonies at which diplomas were presented.
In brief remarks, the president expressed optimism about the new graduates' prospects. "You are entering a more robust job market than previous classes have done," she said.
Kyle complimented the university's faculty, telling graduates, "They have prepared you well for the challenges ahead. … Go forth with confidence and Highlander pride."
Kyle introduced the keynote speaker, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, who polled the audience on whether he should deliver his prepared speech in the rain or "just talk for a few minutes." The latter option drew enthusiastic applause.
Bolling opened by quoting the class motto at his own high school graduation: "Your life is an unpainted picture. You are the artist. Paint the picture well."