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2710 WordsFeb 3, 201411 Pages
Ceremony Script (Dr. Clough) Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Will everyone please stand for the reflection by Mr. Carlton O. Parker, director of the YMCA, and remain standing for our national anthem. (Carlton Parker) Reflection (Brass Ensemble) National Anthem (Dr. Clough) Please be seated. Once again, good morning. It is my pleasure to welcome everyone to Georgia Tech's summer commencement. Approximately 107 years ago, Georgia Tech held its very first commencement. On that day in 1890, just two men graduated, obtaining undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering. Throughout the 107 years in between the Class of 1997 and Tech's first graduating class, thousands of other students have accepted a diploma from a Georgia Tech president. Although much has changed in those years, I imagine the feelings of each student who graduates are much the same. Then, as now, I expect most would admit to feeling some pride, elation, and relief...as well as perhaps a bit of sadness. 1 Besides your emotion upon "getting out," you also share something else with those who have gone before you. You share the common bond of the Georgia Tech educational experience. As part of this, you share common traits of perseverance, grit, intelligence, and drive. Character traits which have helped you survive at Georgia Tech and arrive at a culmination of your educational experience—commencement, Although you do have much in common with other Georgia Tech classes, the Class of 1997 Is unique in Georgia Tech's history. Some interesting facts about your Class and fellow graduates includes: •The Class of 1997 has the highest number of degrees awarded to African Americans in the Institute's history as well as the second highest number of female graduates; • The Class of 1997 can also be proud of your Olympic participation and your role in crafting the Student Honor Code. • Finally, the Class

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