Broad, delivering the university’s 92nd spring commencement address under a sparkling sky in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, said, "Every one of us should be responsible for preserving and extending the core values of a free society."
A record 3,849 students were candidates for bachelor’s master’s and doctoral degrees. In addition, the university awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree to Henry Frye, former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.
It was the final commencement ceremony presided over by Chancellor Richard Eakin, who is retiring after 14 years as the university’s chief executive.
"Dick Eakin will leave ECU a stronger, more engaged institution than he found it," Broad said. "We are all in your debt," she told him.
Broad, in stressing the need for continual learning, told the graduates, "The knowledge you have gained will provide a foundation on which you can build and compose a life."
She reminded them that "employers believe more education is the key to getting a job, keeping a job and getting a better job."
Broad said, "Many people have helped you. You could not have gotten this degree without the faculty, parents, spouses and children.."
"In education," she said, "the more you give, the more you receive."
ECU News Bureau