Themes of hard work, perseverance, truth in storytelling and making connections were shared as Grady College graduates were celebrated at the Fall 2018 Convocation ceremonies on December 13, 2018, at the Hugh Hodgson Performing Arts Center. Nearly 170 students graduated from Grady College this semester, many of whom participated in convocation.
Graduate students eligible for graduation included 28 MFA, Emerging Media and master’s in public relations students. Undergraduates who were recognized included 32 students with an advertising degree, 30 with a degree in public relations, 45 from the journalism program and 31 from entertainment and media studies.
Dean Charles Davis presided over the ceremony, giving an overview of Grady’s accomplishments this past year and praising students for their hard work, passion and academic excellence.
Adam Levin, founder of CyberScout and author of “Swiped,” addressed graduates with a talk focusing on employing truth in storytelling to “critique, clarify and convince,” and to bring stories to light that need to be told.
“Your mission is to seek out the truth, explore human emotions and give expression to the hopes and dreams of your fellow human beings,” Levin said. “Your duty is to use your talent, your skill and your public platform to give a voice to those who have none of these things. This is an awesome responsibility.”
Levin continued by saying that freedom of the press is vital to our democracy and as graduates go out into the world to pursue these professions, they will have the support of others.
“In the war on truth, you are the front lines,” Levin added. “We owe you our support. As a society, it’s incumbent upon us to stand with those with the guts to engage the world and bear witness to it…journalists, communication professionals…those who reflect reality back to us and help us make sense of it.”
He continued: “As you are society’s storytellers, I implore you to keep the stories that matter on our radar to keep them from being forgotten.”
The distinguished senior speaker, a student chosen based on an audition among the graduates for the honor, was Kathleen Brennan, an EMST major who also earned a major in English.
Brennan’s talk focused on the power of connection and relying on fellow graduates.
“If you know the people next to you, great,” Brennan said. “They will our greatest asset as we venture out into the world. Not just as networking opportunities, but as friends who can attest and support us during our greatest struggles. If you don’t, say ‘hello.’ They might just be the Lennon to your McCartney or maybe just someone who can sublease from you in LA someday. We are entering a really intimidating field, but I feel so blessed to be doing it alongside some insanely cool people.”
Lauren Izzo (ABJ ’05, MA ‘07), a member of the Grady Society Alumni Board, concluded the platform of speakers by welcoming the students to the alumni ranks of the college and encouraging new alumni to stay involved through mentoring, coming to alumni receptions to meet current students and supporting Grady Giving Day.
Complete versions of the speaker comments can be found here: