CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The UNC Department of Athletics honored its senior student-athletes on May 2 at the seventh-annual Student-Athlete Graduation Reception, held at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on campus. The Student-Athlete Advisory Council also helps to organize the event, which included Tar Heels from all 28 varsity teams who are graduating in May 2013 or December 2013.
Jason Brown, an All-America center on the UNC football team (2001-04) who went on to play in the NFL, delivered the keynote speech, telling the graduates that "even though you've accomplished great things here, now go out and accomplish greater things."
The graduates also heard from Lissa Broome, a professor in the UNC School of Law who serves as the school's Faculty Athletics Representative. She spoke about the appropriateness of the term "student-athlete" and how ultimately it's not broad enough to encompass all of the roles the seniors actually have played on campus and in the community. She concluded with, "no matter what we call you, you have made your University proud."
Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham told the group, "We want you to come back and always feel welcome at your University, the University of North Carolina."
Joy Renner, the Faculty Athletics Committee chair and a professor in the UNC School of Medicine, provided the closing words, urging the graduates to reach out and thank the people who have impacted them along the way, and also to realize the impact that they as UNC student-athletes have on others. "Thank you for all you've done for this university and our Carolina family," Renner said.
The reception was created and organized by SAAC members seven years ago as a way to honor senior student-athletes, particularly those who might not be able to attend UNC commencement ceremonies due to their competition schedules. Carolina's spring commencement is set for Sunday, May 12, when the rowing and baseball teams will be competing on the road and women's lacrosse will be competing at home.
Congratulations and best wishes to all of the Tar Heel seniors!