Friday, December 19, 2014

James Carville Rouses Crowds at University of New Orleans Fall Commencement 2014

Fall Commencement 2014 at the University of New Orleans More than 1,000 students from 46 U.S. states and 61 countries received diplomas from the University of New Orleans at Fall Commencement 2014, held Thursday, Dec. 18 at the Senator Nat G. Kiefer Lakefront Arena.

Political commentator James Carville called all who attended Fall Commencement 2014 to stick together and take an active role in advocating for the university.

"You cannot profess to care about this city without caring about University of New Orleans," the Louisiana legend said to great applause.

More than 1,000 students graduated from the University of New Orleans on Thursday in a formal ceremony at the Senator Nat G. Kiefer Lakefront Arena. The graduates hailed from 46 U.S. states and territories and 61 countries. Tradition ruled the formal ceremony, which began with a greeting from University President Peter J. Fos and ended with a benediction from Rabbi Edward Paul Cohn of Temple Sinai and second line procession to the sounds of a brass band.

"Look around at your family and friends and enjoy every moment of this special celebration," President Fos said, congratulating graduates on their hard work and success. "On behalf of everyone present, let me congratulate you."

President Fos, a 1972 alumnus of the University, gave graduates their diplomas.

"May God bless the decisions you will make and the passions you will follow," Rabbi Cohn told graduates. "To learn, to love and to serve," he said, thanking UNO faculty and staff for their service.

Robert Merrick, president and CEO of Latter & Blum real estate company, received a honorary doctorate from the University. Earlier this year, Merrick donated $100,000 to help establish the University's newly launched graduate certificate programs in coastal engineering and sciences.

"Follow your passion, do what you love," he advised graduates. "The accolades will follow."

The University of New Orleans (UNO) is a major research university in one of the world's most fascinating cities. For more than 50 years, it has been one of the city's foremost public resources, offering a diverse set of world-class, research-based programs, advancing shared knowledge and adding to the city's industry, culture and economy. Since 1958, UNO has educated students from all 64 Louisiana parishes, all 50 states in the United States and more than 100 countries. Today UNO offers more than 40 undergraduate and pre-professional programs and more than 40 graduate programs.

For 56 years, the University of New Orleans "has served as one of the foremost public assets of the city and region, preparing tens of thousands of students for their careers without the burden of excessive debt," President Peter J. Fos said in a recent letter to the editor of The Times-Picayune. "That has not changed and, in spite of the challenges facing public higher education in Louisiana and around the country, that will not change."

Collectively, he said, fall graduates exemplify perseverance, dedication and intellectual curiosity.

Watch: James Carville Commencement Address- University of New Orleans Fall 2014