It’s a landmark moment not only for those wearing the caps and gowns, but for the friends and family members who make up their support systems. A quick study of the beaming smiles and eyes filled with anticipation in the audience of the Temple Performing Arts Center before the Feb. 1 ceremony was proof enough.
“It’s a milestone for her and our family,” said Lisa Roberts-Amegatcher, whose daughter, Marchelle Roberts, is the first of her 10 siblings (most of whom were adopted) to graduate from college. “We’re very excited and we’re very proud. Words cannot express.”
Approximately 370 undergraduate and 18 graduate students graduated from the School of Media and Communication and the Division of Theater, Film and Media Arts in the Center for the Arts in August 2012 and January 2013. Their achievements were jointly celebrated during the SMC ceremony.
The graduates were sent off onto the next phase of their lives by journalism major Sarah Higgins. In her address, she recounted being a campus tour guide and all of the statistics she gave to prospective students — the average class size, the most popular majors. But she encouraged the graduates to transcend those numbers.
“We’re not statistics. We’re success stories,” she said.
SMC also welcomed Mark Zumoff, RTF ’92, to graduation as its keynote speaker. The voice of the Philadelphia 76ers on Comcast SportsNet, Zumoff surprised the graduates with his piece of advice.
“Don’t look for a job,” he said. “I want you to go out and make friends. I want you to schmooze.”
Zumoff’s point? That building a network through volunteering, scheduling informational interviews and joining organizations is key to creating a successful future.
“I will leave here today to go live my dream,” he said. “After you leave today, go figure out how to live yours.”
Irene Convery, who was at the ceremony to watch her son, Patrick, graduate from the Media Studies and Production Department, is certain he’ll capture his dream.
“It’s our baby. It’s hard to believe,” she said. “But he’ll go on to very big things.”