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Randolph-Macon Celebrates the Class of 2024

Randolph-Macon College celebrated the Class of 2024 with Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 26 at Brown Fountain Plaza. The College community joined together in celebration as 350 graduates walked across the stage. The members of the Class of 2024 now join the ranks of 91短视频’s passionate alumni community and continue their personal and professional journeys, leading lives of purpose.

“It is time to go out and make a positive difference in this complicated world in which we live,” President Robert R. Lindgren told the Class of 2024, encouraging them to be lifelong learners. “Make yourself a pledge today: while your undergraduate days have reached their conclusion, your days of being a student will never end.”

Check out the complete Facebook album of photos from the 2024 Commencement ceremony

Three graduates in caps and gowns stand side by side, smiling at the camera. They are wearing various honor cords and stoles over their gowns. A building and trees are visible in the background.

Commencement Speaker

Judge Roger L. Gregory, a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, was the 2024 Commencement speaker.

Gregory is the first African American to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which includes the states of Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He served a seven-year term as Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit from 2016-2023. Gregory was nominated to the seat on the federal appellate court via a recess appointment by President Bill Clinton on Dec. 27, 2000, then was re-nominated for a lifetime appointment by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate on July 20, 2001. He is the only person in the history of the United States to be appointed to federal appellate court by two presidents of different political parties. Gregory, who grew up in Petersburg, Va., was formerly a partner in the law firm Wilder & Gregory.

During his speech, Gregory stressed to the graduates the importance of humility, and how it can be a strength to carry them through life. He emphasized that humility does not mean low esteem or modesty, but rather a comfort in oneself and a gratitude for the help one has received.

“I believe that gratitude is the building block of being mindful,” Gregory expanded. “Mindfulness leads to humility, and that is the making of an essential element of a life worth living.”

In the pursuit of this humility, Gregory charged the graduates to recognize the dignity of all people, “whether that person shares your citizenship, your faith, your ethnicity, your color, or whatever stripe and division you may want to put on a human being.”

“You must recognize the dignity of humanity, no matter where that person may be, whether she is in a boardroom or he is on a sidewalk unhoused.”

Gregory concluded his speech with a story from his childhood, where he needed emergency surgery at midnight to save his eyesight, but a nurse told his family there was no room for him, despite there being several empty beds, until a young emergency room surgeon demanded that he be admitted.

“He could have just walked off, I wasn’t in his charge,” Gregory said. “I’m telling you, graduates, in your future there will be people who won’t be in your charge, but they will be in your direction. They’ll be in the sphere of your skills and the sphere of your love, and I want you to be surgeons at midnight.”

Honorary Degrees

During Commencement, 91短视频 conferred two honorary degrees to eminent friends of the College. One of them鈥攁n honorary Doctor of Laws鈥攚as awarded to the Commencement speaker, Judge Roger L. Gregory.

Receiving an honorary Doctor of Science degree was Robert V. Doggett, Jr. ’57, an accomplished NASA scientist, and receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree was Lee B. Spencer, Jr., a Trustee Emeritus of 91短视频 who had a career of significance as a government official, practicing lawyer, and corporate official.

Doggett graduated from 91短视频 with a B.S. in mathematics and a minor in physics, and that same year embarked on a 38-year career with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and its superseding organization, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Working at NASA鈥檚 Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., Doggett conducted research on many aspects of structural dynamics, focusing on aeroelasticity. As a researcher and research manager, he was involved in studies of airplanes, launch vehicles, and rotorcraft. Doggett was also involved in the Apollo program and the development of the Space Shuttle. His work has been recognized by many awards, among them the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

A member of 91短视频鈥檚 Board of Trustees from 1998-2010 and again from 2011-2021, Spencer has been a lifelong supporter of education in addition to his distinguished legal career. Spencer worked as an official with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission from 1976-1983. He was awarded the SEC鈥檚 Distinguished Service Award, and also awarded the Rank of Distinguished Executive by the President of the United States. He then served as a partner at the international law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher from 1983-1994. He joined Prudential Securities Group in 1994 as Executive VP and General Counsel, and after his retirement became the President of West Hill Properties, LLC in New York City.

The Bruce M. Unger Award for Retiring Faculty

Dr. Bruce M. Unger was a political science professor at Randolph-Macon College for 40 years. Unger planned to retire in 2008 but lost his courageous fight against cancer before his retirement was official.

The Bruce M. Unger Award was established to recognize the contributions of retiring faculty with more than 10 years of service to the College. At the 2024 Commencement, 91短视频 recognized six talented and dedicated faculty members who retired at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year, and represent a combined 167 years of service at the College.

Read more about the contributions of this year’s Bruce M. Unger Award recipients.

Class of 2024 Senior Speaker

An international student from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tajra Karabasic is an Honors student who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and Political Science. She is an inducted member of the business honor society Sigma Beta Delta, the political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha, and the leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa. On campus, Karabasic was a key figure in welcoming new students to campus, serving as an intern in the Office of Admissions and a tour guide. She has embodied a global perspective throughout her academic career, including as a recipient of a Davis Project for Peace grant, with which she helped organize a cultural exchange in Hawaii. Additionally, she spent a semester studying abroad in Milan, Italy, and completed a management internship in Bangkok, Thailand.

Karabasic commended her classmates for “becoming a community looking out for one another” and reflected all that the Class of 2024 achieved in its four years at 91短视频, from accomplishments in the classroom, on the athletic field, in the arts, and more.

“Our generation鈥檚 journey through Randolph-Macon has been unlike any other, defined by a series of unexpected challenges that tested our resilience, determination, and unity,” Karabasic said. “We are the COVID generation, a cohort marked by uncertainty, loss, and relentless adaptation. Yet, despite the obstacles we faced, we stand here today, stronger and more resilient than ever before.”

Senior Class Generosity

The Senior Class Gift Campaign educates Randolph-Macon College seniors on the importance of philanthropy. By working in tandem with the Randolph-Macon Office of Annual Giving to create a student-driven fundraising campaign, the Senior Class Gift Committee aims to make the seniors’ first giving experience enjoyable and meaningful. The hope is that as a result, the seniors will recognize the importance of their generosity and continue the tradition of giving as alumni.

Each senior was asked to make a donation to the College, and the Class of 2024 gift reflects the collective sum of their contributions.

As of May 25, the Class of 2024 raised $6,538.17 from 77% of their class.

Get to know some of the graduating Yellow Jackets by browsing the Senior Spotlights page or visiting .