Several NC universities held commencement ceremonies on Saturday

Photo from NCCU

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Colleges held commencement ceremonies across the state on Saturday.

At Shaw University in Raleigh, students wore their caps and gowns — and cheered one another as they received their diplomas — taking pictures to remember the moment.

Nationally syndicated radio host Tom Joyner was Saturday’s commencement speaker.

In Durham, more than 700 students earned their diplomas from North Carolina Central University Saturday.

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Combined with the graduate and professional degrees awarded Friday, the university says it is the largest group of graduating students in the school’s history.

A retired astronaut and associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court spoke at N.C. Central.

And in Fayetteville, students at Fayetteville State showed off their diplomas after their commencement ceremony.

Family and friends gathered to celebrate the graduates taking the next step in their lives.

Graduates say a lot of hard work went into making this day possible.

“Late nights, early mornings, no meals. You know, not being able to spend time with my grand kids when I wanted to, my parents period. Just putting in a lot of time doing my studies, doing the work that I needed to to be able to accomplish this day,” said Stephanie Howard, who graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in business administration.

Also in Raleigh at Dorton Arena, Meredith College held commencement exercises for the Class of 2017 on Saturday. The commencement address was given by Becky Jacobs, chief engagement officer at Simple Change Wellness.

About 470 degrees were conferred by Meredith College during the ceremony.

Also, in Raleigh North Carolina State University awarded nearly 6,000 degrees during the day’s two ceremonies, and also had a special recognition for engineering senior Cheyanne Haas, who died last week in a car crash.

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane gave the commencement speech Saturday.

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