The UO bids adieu to the graduates from the class of 2014

By UO alumna Chelsea Fullmer ‘14

Thousands of UO graduates marched down 13th Avenue in the traditional “Duck Walk” on their paved path to commencement. Starting at The Duck Store on the corner of 13th and Kincaid, the class of 2014 paraded through campus holding flags representing each department, as they made their way to the Matthew Knight Arena. Parents, family members, and friends cheered as students walked by, filing inside the arena for the overall University Commencement ceremony.

With a packed Matthew Knight Arena, students and guests listened to numerous speeches including two student speakers, Lesley Grant and Lindy Mabuya, as well as keynote speaker, Robert X. Fogarty ’05. Fogarty, a graduate from the School of Journalism and Communication, spoke and showed pictures from his internationally recognized photography project “Dear World.” Including coming to the UO last year to take pictures of students, faculty, and staff displaying personal messages written on their bodies, Fogarty has also photographed figures such as Drew Brees, war refugees, and survivors of the Joplin, Missouri, tornado; and took powerful pictures of survivors at the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.

After students moved their tassels from the right side of their cap to the left, the graduates were off to various department ceremonies across campus. Battling with weather throughout the morning, the sun made an appearance at the beginning of commencement ceremonies that started at noon, but graduates were soon were met with a torrential rain and hail storm. While some department ceremonies were inside, such as the Lundquist College of Business graduation, most were held outside and were caught in the storm. But just as ducks brave the unpredictable Oregon weather, so did the newly graduated Ducks, bearing through the storm that soaked the traditional graduation gowns, turning them from green to black.

Rain continued throughout the day as more ceremonies were held at 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., with occasional appearances by the sun. But graduates and their families continued to smile as the class of 2014 made the final step from the UO to the real world. And at the UOAA, we are proud to welcome the new batch into the alumni family.