The University of Nebraska-Lincoln granted 1,425 degrees during commencement ceremonies Dec. 16-17 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. | Full list of graduates
The graduates are from 36 states, the District of Columbia and 34 countries.
Chuck Hagel, former U.S. senator for Nebraska and former secretary of defense, delivered the undergraduate commencement address “Take Responsibility” on Dec. 17.
Hagel told the graduates that each generation faces new challenges and changes, but the one constant is personal responsibility.
He recalled a conversation he once had with his paternal grandfather, who owned a lumberyard in Ainsworth, in which he asked about the ledger book on his desk. His grandfather explained that just as a company has assets and debits, plusses and minuses, so do people.
Hagel said that not only does each person have a ledger, but there is a global ledger as well.
“We must not lose sight of the fact that with all the minuses in the world today, there are … far more assets to work with than ever before,” he said. “More capacity, more capability, more education, skillsets, more opportunities, more varieties of possibilities in the world today than ever before, giving us more ways to make a better world for more people than at any time in the history of man.”
Hagel told the graduates it’s important to maintain balance in life and that success is not just measured by professional accomplishments, but by one’s conduct.
“Common decency, respect for others and always giving more than you take – that’s what will sustain you and keep your life interesting and happy,” he said.
Hagel encouraged the graduates to seek out new challenges and experiences, be role models to others and associate with good people.
He said there are three “indispensable requisites” in life that apply to everything: character, courage and judgment.
“Maybe most important is to be honest with yourself and others, and do what is right,” he said. “Do what is right regardless of the consequences. If you are honest with yourself, then your toughest competitor will always be yourself.”
Hagel also urged the graduates to avoid negative distractions, appreciate the mysteries of life and thank those around them.
“If you look, you’ll find quiet courage everywhere,” he said. “It’s the quiet heroes that never ask for recognition or special attention that are in our everyday lives who make each of us better people and change the world.”
Sebastian Elbaum, Bessey Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Nebraska, delivered the address at the graduate and professional degrees ceremony on Dec. 16. Jazz drummer Victor Lewis received an honorary doctoral degree from the university on Dec. 8 and was again recognized in a video played during undergraduate commencement.
Chancellor Ronnie Green presided over the commencement ceremonies.
The December graduating class earned 89 new doctoral degrees, 212 new master’s degrees, 13 new law degrees and 1,109 new baccalaureate degrees. The university has awarded 279,311 degrees since it was founded in 1869.
Those who were unable to attend commencement have two options to pick up their diplomas:
Pick up diplomas in person. Diplomas will be available for pickup from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 19-23 in Canfield Administration South, Room 109. Student NUID cards will be required for identification.
Request diplomas be mailed to them by calling the Office of the University Registrar at 402-472-3635 and selecting menu option No. 2 for graduation services. A current mailing address will be required.