Hooding, multicultural ceremonies honor graduates

Danielle Gray, Gaston Dembele

Danielle Sirgy Gray, with Associate Professor Gaston Dembele, received a Master of Science in education at Friday's ceremony.

With families, friends and Radford University officials on hand to honor them, more than 200 students were awarded master's and doctor's degrees on Friday, May 10, from the RU College of Graduate and Professional Studies.

The event in the Dedmon Center was followed by a multicultural congratulatory ceremony for all spring 2013 graduates in the auditorium of the Hurlburt Student Center.

RU President Penelope W. Kyle, who conferred the degrees at the traditional graduate college hooding ceremony, told students the university is proud of their dedication and noteworthy achievements. "You have become an important part of the Radford University community," Kyle said.

Keynote speaker Sam Minner, RU's provost and vice president for academic affairs, said, "I urge you all to savor this day and reflect on all that it took to complete this great achievement." He counseled the graduates "to further reflect on what is before you as one who has attained the highest possible level of formal education: a graduate degree."

The majority of degrees conferred were the Master of Science, awarded to 190 students. The College of Graduate and Professional Studies also awarded the following degrees:

  • Master of Social Work (23)
  • Master of Business Administration (17)
  • Educational Specialist (8)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (3)
  • Doctor of Psychology (3)
  • Master of Arts (3)
  • Master of Fine Arts (3)

See photos of the hooding ceremony on Facebook.

The Multicultural Congratulatory Ceremony, formerly the Donning of the Kente, honored all spring 2013 graduates. "This year we wanted to be more inclusive. It is an opportunity to recognize all our students," said Crasha Perkins, director of the Radford University Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Assistant Professor Deneen Evans, director of the Master of Social Work program site in Roanoke, was the keynote speaker, seasoning her comments with personal reflections on the importance of spirituality and belief in one's ability to "beat the odds."

Family members and friends then donned students with kentes, colorful cloth shawls. Each person who honored a student spoke briefly of that student's accomplishments and dedication to obtaining the degree.

Five students in the Department of Music performed original brass musical selections during the event, which also featured a historical overview. A reception honoring graduates concluded the evening.

See photos of the multicultural ceremony on Facebook.

Learn more about Radford University at www.radford.edu.

graduating seniors

Graduating seniors were invited to take part in the multicultural celebration on Friday.

May 11, 2013
Bonnie Erickson
(540) 831-5804