The spring class of 2019 was the largest graduating class in the Reynolds School of Journalism’s 97-year history.
Dean Al Stavitsky shared this fact with the large crowd of soon-to-be-graduates and their families in a packed atrium inside the Reynolds School on Thursday, May 16, 2019. This spring, 105 students graduated, including five graduate students from the school’s master's program. The graduation reception offered students a chance to gather with friends, family and faculty before the university’s campus-wide graduation ceremony in the Lawlor Events Center.
“It’s really nice to have an event where we all get to see each other again,” graduating senior Charis Nixon said. “It feels very emotional, very momentous.”
Nixon attended the reception with her family, including her father, Tom Nixon. “It’s just nice to come to such an event ahead of the actual graduation ceremony to spend some time with the graduates and the other parents,” he said.
The graduation reception also had a functional purpose – the graduate photo taken on the steps of the atrium. This semester’s large class spilled out past the stairs, and some family members had to watch the proceedings from the second or third floors.
Dr. Paul Mitchell, coordinator of recruitment and retention, usually gives one last word of advice to the graduating class. This semester, however, Mitchell asked associate professor Bob Felten, who retired this semester, to share final advice.
“They’re leaving much different from the way they came in,” Felten told the crowd. “And while we – my colleagues over here – have something to do with that, mostly, it was them.”
Felten praised the graduating class for their work over the years, telling them what they have learned to do is hard. He told students to remember the standard they set in this building, even as others may compliment work they know not to be their best.
“As you go out, remember that standard,” he said. “The Reynolds standard is what? Good?”
“Is not good enough!” the graduating class answered back.
Take a look at the event photos below. Congratulations, spring class of 2019!