ONLINE: Video and photo highlights, a cap- tioned version and an audio archive of the ceremony are online at
alumni.unc.edu/ commencement. The full text of Grisham’s remarks also is available at
Grisham to New Grads:
‘Find a Voice’
‘Ihave never thought of writing as hard work, but I have worked hard to find a voice. All writers do. Sometimes we are successful, often we are not. But long before the first chapter is finished, and often before
the first chapter is started, we search and search to find a voice. ...
DAN SEARS ’ 74
“In this respect, writing is a lot like life itself. In life, a voice is much more
than the sound we make when we talk. ... The voice of change, the voice of
compassion, the voice of the
future, the voice of his gen-
eration, the voice of her peo-
ple. We hear this all the time.
Voices, not words.
“There are over 5,600 of
you in the class of 2010, and
I doubt seriously right now if
any one of you believes that
you will leave here today, go
out into the world, start your
career and not be heard. Isn’t
that one of our greatest fears?
We will not be heard? No
one will listen to us when
we are ready to lead, there’s no one to follow?
“To be heard, you must find a voice. For your ideas
to be accepted, for your arguments to be believed, for
your work to be admired, you must find a voice.
TAKAAKI IWABU/THE NEWS & OBSERVER
“In life, we tend to ignore those who talk in cir-
cles, saying much but saying nothing. We listen to
and follow those whose words and ideas and
thoughts and intentions are clear. ... We tend to dis-
credit those who claim to be what they are not. We
respect those who know their subject matter. We
long for and respect credibility. ... In life, finding a
voice is speaking and living the truth.
“Each of you is an original. Each of you has a
distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will
be told. You will be heard. The size of your audience doesn’t matter. What is important is that your
audience is listening.”
— From the Commencement address
given by author John Grisham on May 9
n n n
The registrar listed 5,630 graduates —
3,347 bachelor’s, 1,397 master’s, 262 doctoral
and 624 professional degrees and certificates.
UNC awarded honorary degrees to Paul Rizzo
’ 50, Gene Roberts ’ 54, Fred Robinson ’ 54 (MA,
’ 61 PhD) and Patricia Timmons-Goodson ’ 76.
For more about Commencement and Spring Reunion
Weekend, see pages 49-55.