Hooray! They did it!
2,168 graduate from University in three ceremonies held over two days
The weather forecast at one point in the week had called for showers.
The showers never materialized. But the graduates certainly did.
Some 2,168 students at the University of Nevada, Reno officially became graduates of the University during the 123rd Commencement Exercises held on Friday and Saturday on the Quad.
University President Marc Johnson, invoking words from the Declaration of Independence, challenged the members of the Class of 2013 to realize "the good of the Republic" through lives that become invested in communities and work that helps an individual make a difference for the betterment of society.
He said lessons learned at the University will be lessons applied for the greater good.
"The lessons you learn here elevate your expectations ... expectations of yourself ... and expectations you have for society," Johnson said during his welcome address. "You learn here that the worth of an individual person is not how much money a person has or what their potential for wealth will be. Rather, you learn that a contribution to the betterment of society is the richest investment a person can ever make.
"A portfolio that includes personal assets such as toleration, understanding, inclusiveness and empathy is like a precious antiquity - so valuable it is simply priceless."
For the first time in the University's history, three ceremonies, one for advanced-degree recipients on Friday afternoon, May 17, and two for bachelor-degree recipients on the mornings of Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18, were held.
The University changed from one to two undergraduate ceremonies to better accommodate the growing crowds that have resulted from increased enrollment and improving graduation rates.
Justin Lopez was named recipient of the 2013 Herz Gold Medal for outstanding scholarship. The Herz Gold Medal is presented at each Commencement to the graduating senior with the highest grade-point average. Lopez, a graduate of Bishop Manogue Catholic High School in Reno, graduated from the University with multiple bachelor's degrees, having majored in biochemistry and molecular biology and in biology and having minored in Spanish, chemistry and mathematics.
Four Distinguished Nevadans were named: former U.S. Public Printer Bruce James, former Elko County Treasurer Ceasar Salicchi, Athletic Director Emeritus and University graduate Dick Trachok and his wife and University alumna Fran Trachok.