COLLEGE PARK (12/18/19) — Twenty-nine undergraduate students and 10 master’s students celebrated the completion of their degree Wednesday during the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism commencement ceremony at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.
The ceremony, presided over by Merrill College Dean Lucy A. Dalglish, recognized the graduates and award winners.
George Solomon, founding director of The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism, and graduating senior Thomas Cook Mason served as the commencement speakers.
Solomon, who will retire after the spring semester, reinforced that there are opportunities out there for all graduates, and Merrill College alumni are an example of that, having drawn a roadmap to build an accomplished career in journalism.
He recalled multiple reporters throughout his journalism career remarking, “I can’t believe I do this for a living,” something he expects the graduates to feel as they get to work.
“There’s nothing to match it — not in law, not in politics,” Solomon said, “and you’re very fortunate.”
Mason, the student speaker, fondly recalled the relationships he built while at Merrill College. He urged his fellow graduates to accept help from others and to seek work that allows them to spend time in the places they care about.
Three students received special recognition during the ceremony: Merrill College faculty selected Joseph Malfa to receive the Outstanding Broadcast News Senior Award, Greta Katherine Easthom won the Outstanding Multimedia News Senior Award and Nora R. Eckert earned the Outstanding Master’s Student Award.
Dalglish closed the ceremony by speaking of the incredible number of opportunities that await the Class of 2019, considering the limitless ways a story can be told in this age.
“You’re entering journalism at an exciting and unsettling time,” Dalglish said. “We are counting on you because we need you. Journalism is an act of citizenship.”