Nearly 750 University of Nebraska-Lincoln students received degrees during the all-university commencement ceremony Aug. 15 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Full list of graduates | More photos at UNL Today’s Facebook page
The graduates are from 35 states, the District of Columbia and 25 countries.
“I hope your time at UNL has taught you to think critically, to be passionate about what you are doing, to treat others with kindness, to be humble, and to be curious about the world around you,” University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds told the assembled graduates. “I hope you have learned that you should never stop learning, and I hope you have learned to dream big.
“This is the opportunity that a University of Nebraska education provides you: the opportunity to dream big.”
Shane Farritor, Lederer Professor of Engineering, delivered the commencement address “Create the Future.” Farritor, who leads UNL’s Robotics and Mechatronics Lab, a research and education program focused on the innovative application of robotics technology, urged graduates to shape and engage the world by adding art to their jobs, and then giving it generously to others. And by “art,” Farritor said, he wasn’t necessarily referring to paintings or sculptures.
“I’m talking about something that’s beautiful and that you create – and you add that to your job,” he said. As an analogy, he described a fried egg’s yellow yolk, surrounded by egg white.
“When people ask you what you’re going to do for a living, you describe the yolk,” said Farritor, who speaks regularly on innovation and creativity. “Most jobs have a map to describe what is needed to be good at the job – that part is the yolk. But surrounding the yolk is the egg white. That’s the art I want you to surround your job with.
“It’s important to note that there’s more egg white than there is yolk. And that’s our goal; let’s make the white really big, relative to the yolk. Let’s make the art big, relative to the job.”
The August graduating class includes 114 new doctors, 248 new master’s degree holders and 379 new baccalaureate degree holders. It included Jean Kops, 87, who returned to the university after nearly seven decades to complete her degree.
As Kops received her degree from Debbie Minter, associate dean of undergraduate education in the College of Arts and Sciences, those in attendance rose to give her a standing ovation.