Baseball vs. Indiana
Ronnie Green discusses the May commencement, which featured the largest graduating class in university history, and specifically the undergraduate ceremony highlighted by an address by Oscar-winning filmmaker and Omaha native Alexander Payne. Ronnie Green also discusses the university's record number of student Fulbright awards and the first-ever Nebraska faculty member to be named a Carnegie Fellow.
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[00:00:00.140]Thank you, Nick.
[00:00:00.973]Delighted to be joined now by the University of Nebraska
[00:00:02.700]Lincoln champs, Ronny Green, it was a big weekend
[00:00:05.670]last weekend as you had your spring commencement
[00:00:08.230]ceremonies both on Friday and Saturday,
[00:00:10.460]what can you tell us about this year's events?
[00:00:12.500]Well Greg, you know, one of the biggest things
[00:00:14.610]that is the big deal of the year for us is when
[00:00:18.110]we have commencement and you see students who have
[00:00:20.420]been working on whatever their degree might be,
[00:00:22.630]come to the end of that road and successfully
[00:00:25.480]complete their education and this past
[00:00:28.720]weekend was a huge one for us.
[00:00:30.978]Biggest commencement exercise that we've ever had
[00:00:34.180]for the University of Nebraska, 3,224 total degrees,
[00:00:39.250]700 masters and Phd's on Friday, another 2,500 plus
[00:00:43.900]undergraduates on Saturday and then law with over
[00:00:46.660]100 Saturday afternoon so big, big weekend, you know
[00:00:51.250]and one of the favorite things for me in that ceremony
[00:00:54.500]on Saturday so you gotta envision Pinnacle Bank Arena,
[00:00:57.750]completely full to the gills, all the way to the top,
[00:01:00.180]2,500 students on the floor in their graduation robes
[00:01:05.610]and I ask them at the very end of the ceremony,
[00:01:08.270]you know, before we say, okay we're gonna make
[00:01:10.040]you official and we're gonna move the tassel
[00:01:11.810]from right to left, I said I want you to help me
[00:01:15.735]show the crowd here how the impact of these degrees look
[00:01:21.310]and said, if you're from Nebraska, I want you to stand up
[00:01:23.850]and about 65 percent of them stood up.
[00:01:27.305]If you're an adopted Nebraskan from another state
[00:01:31.150]that we've adopted, stand up.
[00:01:33.160]Another big chunk of our students stood up
[00:01:35.650]and if you're from outside the state of Nebraska,
[00:01:38.600]outside of the US and you came to use from one
[00:01:41.990]of the 61 countries that we're graduating
[00:01:44.175]around the world, stand up.
[00:01:46.350]Then I said, if you've been a veteran or you've been
[00:01:48.860]in the military or you're on active duty now
[00:01:52.110]or you're going into the military, we commissioned 25
[00:01:55.401]officers out of our ROTC in the ceremony, stand up
[00:01:59.660]and then I said, if you're a husker athlete
[00:02:02.290]and you've competed under the N here, 62 of those students
[00:02:06.920]stood up that graduated on Saturday and then the last group
[00:02:10.390]I said, if you're the first in your family to have
[00:02:12.907]achieved a four year college degree, stand up,
[00:02:17.670]about a quarter of the people in the room stood up.
[00:02:20.300]I mean that's pretty impactful and you realize
[00:02:23.760]the talent that's in that room, you realize where
[00:02:26.170]they're going, you realize where they've come from,
[00:02:28.060]you realize what they've done here at the university.
[00:02:30.660]It was just, it was a really great weekend.
[00:02:34.170]What a special treat for the undergraduates
[00:02:36.830]was they were addressed by an Oscar winner,
[00:02:39.450]who happens to have Nebraska ties.
[00:02:41.920]They sure were.
[00:02:43.090]We were very pleased that Alexander Payne,
[00:02:45.260]who is a native of Omaha, grew up in the Dundee area
[00:02:47.934]of Omaha, very celebrated film director, you know,
[00:02:53.854]produced a lot of Oscar nominees as you say
[00:02:57.010]and a few winners was with us and he was,
[00:03:01.697]it was a great moment, you know.
[00:03:04.650]He told his story, he said, you know, my story
[00:03:07.220]is my story, you're gonna make your story.
[00:03:09.570]Told about his grandfather who came to Omaha
[00:03:12.560]as a Greek immigrant, about his parents who you know,
[00:03:16.641]developed and operated a Greek restaurant in downtown
[00:03:20.350]Omaha for 50 years, talked about he and his siblings
[00:03:24.420]and his brother and he and how they went off to
[00:03:26.550]achieve education that his parents had never
[00:03:29.710]had the opportunity to do, talked about what hard work was
[00:03:33.705]and how he didn't really have a lot of success until
[00:03:37.190]he was well into his thirties, 40 years old,
[00:03:40.210]how he didn't start a family till later in life.
[00:03:42.030]He has a seven month old, he's 57 years old.
[00:03:45.825]He ended the message was so compelling and the thing
[00:03:48.870]that people will remember about the message was he
[00:03:51.530]talked about how Nebraskans do the best everywhere,
[00:03:55.350]you know, that if you're from Nebraska, you're guaranteed
[00:03:58.250]for success, I think was kind of his message
[00:04:01.220]so it was great to have him there.
[00:04:03.220]We also bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate of fine arts
[00:04:07.342]from our College of Fine and Performing Arts
[00:04:10.020]so it was a big moment for him too and he had a surprise
[00:04:13.570]where a whole host of his friends and you can imagine,
[00:04:18.720]actors, actresses, directors, musicians, artists
[00:04:22.800]from the Hollywood arena made a video for him
[00:04:28.620]that was played over husker vision and he was pretty
[00:04:32.710]shocked and surprised so it was kind of cool to watch
[00:04:36.540]all of that unfold and particularly his message
[00:04:38.957]for our graduates.
[00:04:41.633]Well we have recently talked about some student
[00:04:43.930]award winners that have come up here at the UNL campus.
[00:04:47.040]You now have even added to that list a little bit.
[00:04:50.290]Tell us some of this good news.
[00:04:51.910]Well, along with the kind of graduation time of year,
[00:04:54.930]comes several other kind of getting us informed
[00:04:59.499]about the next wave of winners and one of those
[00:05:03.100]is the Bull Bright commissions so full bright scholars
[00:05:07.420]go all over the world, they're sponsored by funding
[00:05:09.740]from the US state department.
[00:05:11.510]Many of them go to teach English in other regions
[00:05:13.980]of the world or to do other scholarly activities
[00:05:16.160]and we've been really successful on the Full Bright
[00:05:18.330]Program over the years but this year was again,
[00:05:22.200]a banner year for us.
[00:05:23.490]We had a total of 16 awardees that received Full Brights.
[00:05:28.500]Most of them hadn't been notified in the last
[00:05:30.510]month to six weeks time period.
[00:05:33.690]Previous record was two years ago when we had 11 awardees
[00:05:38.080]so we're very, very pleased for these students.
[00:05:41.010]Some of them undergrads, some of them grad students.
[00:05:43.710]Students from all across Nebraska to also a few of our
[00:05:47.300]students from Iowa, South Dakota and California
[00:05:50.160]as well are Full Bright awardees so very pleased for them
[00:05:54.350]and then we received official word just in the last few
[00:05:58.780]weeks that one of our faculty members in the department
[00:06:01.770]of history in the College of Arts and Sciences,
[00:06:03.900]Dr. Margaret Jacobs is the first ever UNL faculty member
[00:06:08.510]to be named a Carnegie Fellow, which is a very
[00:06:12.270]prestigious award, very highly competitive.
[00:06:15.406]There were 300 finalists for this award, 30 of those
[00:06:19.440]were selected as Carnegie Fellows for the coming year.
[00:06:23.600]Dr. Jacobs will receive a 200,000 dollar sum to support
[00:06:27.948]her work as she takes a year off to do her Carnegie
[00:06:32.540]fellowship in this year ahead so very, very pleased
[00:06:36.310]for Margaret and for that honor that she's brought
[00:06:40.180]to herself and to the university so we're you know,
[00:06:42.960]we're very fortunate to have a world class faculty,
[00:06:45.450]we're very fortunate to be graduating top quality students
[00:06:48.630]like we did this weekend.
[00:06:50.792]Your university's on the move.
[00:06:52.960]Wonderful, great message in there.
[00:06:54.950]Thank you for the update in the end of the spring semester.
[00:06:56.810]Enjoy the rest of your summer, we'll probably leave
[00:06:58.100]you alone till football season next year.
[00:06:59.160]Well, this is our last home series alright
[00:07:01.110]and so hope our baseball team good luck today
[00:07:03.940]and that they do well against Indiana and go big red.
[00:07:06.430]Fantastic, Ronny Green with us here on the pregame show.
[00:07:08.570]First pitch of the game coming up next.
[00:07:10.080]This is the Husker IMG Sports Network.
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