Some of the Sweet Moments from UA's 150th Commencement

University Relations - Communications
May 19, 2014

One of the sweetest moments during the UA's 150th Commencement on Saturday included the engagement of graduates Brian Lamhang and Shannon Lim, both Doctor of Pharmacy graduates. On bended knee, Lamhang prosed to Lim while preparing for the procession to start.

Photo courtesy of UA Student Affairs

Inside Arizona Stadium, among the most visible groups of graduates were those earning their mining and nursing degrees – with some College of Engineering graduates wearing decorated hard hats and College of Nursing grads wearing vintage-style nurse caps. And when College of Engineering Dean Leonard Jessup congratulated the grads, the new engineers tossed dozens of spinning, glowing orbs into the air.

Before the lights dimmed for the start of Commencement, grads were sending messages to their family members and friends.

One student, standing among his classmates on the field, flashed his phone, which appeared on the Arizona Stadium screens with the message "I love you mom."

Photo credit: Robert Walker

And there were moments of hilarity, like the rhyming address by Zachary S. Brooks, president of the UA's Graduate and Professional Student Council.

"You live in a digital world but you are analog. You get the contraction; it's not an addiction, not a conviction, not science fiction. It's a coefficient of frictions," said Brooks, also a doctoral student in the UA's Second Language Acquisition and Teaching program.

"Whether your goal is to improve the big blue ball, improve scrawls, play in musical halls, or visit Nepal … you are ambassadors, connecting the University of Arizona to inner space, local space, aerospace and outer space."

Morgan Abraham, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, reminded graduates of the many times they ate Highland Market burritos at 2 a.m., the days when when they assumed early Friday morning classes were a great idea, and when students rushed the field after the Wildcats "crushed" No. 5 Oregon in Arizona Stadium the fall.

Photo credit: Robert Walker

"We have had some of the best times of our lives, and we have some of the best memories to go with that," said Abraham, an engineering student.

Speaking about students attending other institutions, he said: "They will never know the true meaning of Bear Down or what it was like to attend Arizona's first and best university."

UA alumnus Anna Maria Chávez , CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, who delivered the keynote address, stated early in her talk: "You love my cookies, don't you?"

Then came the memorable high-energy, thumping finale.

Photo credit: Robert Walker

With Wilbur raised on a platform before a stunning light show and with smoke machines and flamethrowers all around him, hundreds of grads raised their cellphones to capture the moment as images of people and moments spanning 2010 to 2014 flashed on the screen: Internet sensations like Grumpy Cat and "Batkid" in San Francisco; when the UA men's basketball team owned the No. 1 spot for several consecutive weeks; and when former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords attended the Jan. 8 vigil on campus in 2012.

Then everyone on the field and in the stands turned their faces north to the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, where a dancing Wilma Wildcat grooved to a firework show so strong that the reverberation could be felt in the stadium risers.

You should have been there.

Read Commencement event coverage, "Class of 2014 Sent Off to Educate, Discover and Make an Impact," at

Photo credit: Jacob Chinn/UA Alumni Association



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