Commencement … again

December 19, 2011

Another December meant another Commencement. The years fly by, and yet, each December, the ceremony somehow feels fresh, not just a rehash of graduations past.

Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology Barbara Frederickson, PhD, spoke about positivity. It was an excellent, thought-provoking address. She advised graduates to keep negativity and positivity in proportion.

From the UNC website:

December graduates leave with advice

“Don’t worry. Be open.” is the crux of the message that Barbara Fredrickson delivered to graduates at UNC’s December commencement ceremony Sunday.

Chancellor Holden Thorp presided at the December 18 ceremony in the Dean E. Smith Center.

Fredrickson urged the graduates to be mindful of their present state. “More often than not, the present is a gift! A gift that – if you open to it – can trigger sincere, heartfelt positivity.

“The catch is that these gifts are so subtle that you can be completely blind to them if you’re caught up in worry. Worry makes you miss out on the subtle sources of beauty, intrigue, comfort, and kindness right here and right now that can light your path toward flourishing.”

I loved looking out into the sea of students and seeing the peach colors of public health. Congratulations all our December graduates! Good luck! Come back and visit sometime.

Happy Monday! Barbara.

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The views expressed in this blog are Barbara Rimer’s alone and do not represent the views and policies of The University of North Carolina or the Gillings School.