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Multicultural Graduation celebrates seniors from all backgrounds

Earlier this month, Jacksonville University held its Multicultural Graduation ceremony, an event that honors students from different cultural backgrounds who have all come to JU to complete their education. 

Patrice Abner, director of student inclusion, said around 100 students attended the ceremony where they received stoles that represent their culture or identity to wear on graduation day.

The event started in 2019, and this year, returned to its full capacity following a down-sized version in 2021 due to the pandemic. It was live-streamed for family members and friends who were unable to attend the ceremony in the River House. 

Students represented several groups on campus including the Black Student Union, Hispanic Latino Student Union, Gender and Sexuality Alliance and the International Student Association. 

Assistant Professor of Sociology Shelley Grant served as the academic speaker for the ceremony. Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Swisher International Jacinta Carter was the keynote speaker, who shared her story of climbing to the top of her industry. 

Growing up, Carter said her hard-working parents not only made sacrifices for her success but taught her a lot along the way. 

Carter impressed upon the graduates to always remember to work hard and value their education. It’s especially important to celebrate their successes along the way.

“If you want to eat, you have to work,” she said. “If you want to buy it, you need a job. If you want to have choices in life, you need an education.”

See photos of the event below, taken by student photographer Morgan Williams: