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Robertson School graduates 190 students at May Commencement

May 12, 2019

Posted in: News

By Marcus Messner (text), Natasha Long, Joshua Smith, and Bridget Camden (photos), Robertson School faculty and staff

The Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture graduated more than 190 undergraduate students at the commencement ceremony at the Richmond Convention Center on May 10.

Director Dr. Hong Cheng and Dr. Joshua Langberg, Associate Dean of Research at VCU's College of Humanities and Sciences, congratulated seniors from the undergraduate advertising, public relations and journalism programs in front of a crowd of close to 2,000 relatives and friends.

“Hearty congratulations to our School’s 192 proud May 2019 graduates! This is a monumental milestone in your careers and lives. We, faculty and staff in the Robertson School, cannot be happier for you and prouder of you,” Cheng said. “Thank you for being part of the Robertson School family at VCU. Keep your dream and make it real. Please stay in touch and tell us all the wonderful things you will be doing in this world in the future.”

The commencement address was delivered by Robertson School alumna Rachael Savage, who is Head of Advertising Operations at Condé Nast. Advertising sequence coordinator Prof. Scott Sherman introduced Savage, who was her professor when she graduated from the Robertson School in 2006, then named the School of Mass Communications.

"There is no free lunch that tastes as good as being yourself feels," said Savage, who recalled her experiences in the Robertson School during her speech, especially in classes with Sherman and Prof. Bridget Camden. "Being yourself gives others permission to do the same. The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is." 

Savage told the graduating students to "be kind to yourself, and be kind to others. Make some friends. Life is literally one big group project, and I'm really sorry to tell you that right now. And if you find yourself getting stuck, just keep moving: get a new perspective, be open-minded to the possibilities. It’s all available to you."

During the commencement ceremony, faculty, staff, students and guests gave long-standing ovations to Cheng and Prof. June Nicholson, who will be leaving the Robertson School this summer. Cheng recently accepted the dean position of the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago. Nicholson will be retiring in August after 35 years as a professor at VCU. 

Cheng thanked Natasha Long, coordinator of student services and Sherman for the organization of the ceremony and the program as well as Gary Gillam, audio and video lab supervisor, and his talented student crew, who videotaped the event. You can view a digital photo album from the commencement ceremony on the Facebook page of the Robertson School.

Please also read about the outstanding graduates who were honored with the May 2019 Faculty Awards at the Robertson School Commencement Ceremony.