Education
6:22 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Wake Forest University Graduates Ready for What Lies Ahead

More than 1,700 students have turned the tassel and are now graduates of Wake Forest University. On Monday, the graduation ceremony was held on the campus’ central quad.

Journalist Gwen Ifill delivered the key note address. She’s the moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" on PBS. She’s also senior correspondent for "PBS Newshour." Ifill encouraged the graduates to identify what they care about and to be willing to use all of the tools they have to make things better for others.

“This is that moment when you think back to what brought you hear today. Somewhere along the way you should have acquired a mission. Sometimes, it just means thinking about how and when you speak, not just speaking. I’m on Twitter as you may have heard, where a lot of people speak without speaking, and that reminds me that I have to take a picture of you guys because this is the best possible view ever. I will be tweeting this in just a moment,” said Ifill.

Ifill said she went on Twitter this past week to ask Wake Forest students what they wanted to hear from her during her commencement speech.

“The tweeter worried that technology is surpassing humanity and ask that I speak for the need to speak for communication to be the medium and not the message. You can do something about that too, but here is a hint, don't take your guidance from what you see in Washington. I hate to admit it. It is probably the worst possible example of how to make change. Real change comes from people who make up their minds when they see something, they will do something.”

Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Ifill during the graduation ceremony.

According to the university, 95 percent of WFU’s Class of 2012 reported being employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation.

“I feel like certain majors have more opportunity than others, and maybe mine quite not as much, so I will probably stay in the military for a while until that changes or I get a better opportunity down the road,” said Frank Navarro, a Wake Forest graduate who recently joined the Army.

“I’m actually quite optimistic about my future. I’ve been really fortunate and I have had a couple of job offers and one of them will allow me defer, so I can do Teach for America for two years. I really think if you work hard, something will come through,” said Abrams Jamassi.

Patrice Johnson of Washington D.C. says she is planning to continue her education.

“I feel like it has become tougher for students. Even though you have a degree, I feel like you have to do more to get a job and further your education. That’s why I’m going to graduate school,” said Johnson.

21 year-old Diana Simpson, anthropology major from Southern Pines, N.C., has done research for the past year on the baby gorillas at the North Carolina Zoo. She says she has several offers to work as a research assistant in the Raleigh area after graduation.

“I conducted a behavioral study looking at how the behaviors changed within the group since the birth of the two infants in August and September respectively, and I really feel like that has been a strength as I have been applying to other positions and options, people really value the ability to do independent research, which is think is a unique skill that will really serve me well,” says Simpson.

Wake Forest University also had eight Fulbright Scholars in the 2013 graduating class.