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UVM holds 213th commencement - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

UVM holds 213th commencement

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BURLINGTON, Vt. - Students across the state are celebrating a major accomplishment -- graduation.  Sunday the University of Vermont's class of 2014 took part in their 213th commencement ceremony.  

"The fact that I have reached this milestone --  I don't have the words for it -- I'm just so blown away by it right now," said graduating biochemistry major Christopher Veal.

The surreal moment of graduation swept across the UVM green as more than 2,900 graduates were celebrated for their accomplishment.

"Ladies and gentlemen, join me in welcoming the university of Vermont class of 2014," said UVM President Tom Sullivan. Those words have been long awaited by many who, at times, had doubts about the future.

"I came into school undeclared and I wasn't sure what to do, but with the help of some really good teachers and some good classes I was able to choose sociology and I'm really happy with my choice now," said Jindla McBee, a Sociology Major.

"My first day in Vermont was my first day of classes, so it was really kind of a coin toss. I was hoping for the best, but I got a lot more out of it than they expected," Veal said.

This year's commencement speaker -- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power -- encouraged graduates to overcome those doubts and be the fighting force behind making the world a better place. "The stronger we are at home, the stronger we will be at leading abroad, and the more peaceful and prosperous the world is, the better off you and the rest of the American people will be over time," she said.

"When you graduate and you're looking for a job and you think, like I'm gonna be homeless on the streets, hearing that from someone who is a very powerful figure -- it's comforting and I thought it was a good speech," said Rosalie Doolan, Psychology Major.

Speakers at the ceremony reminded the crowd of nearly 8,000 families and graduates that it all begins with the foundation of three qualities. "Your determination, your resilience, your perseverance. In truth you have already begun those careers here at the University of Vermont," Sullivan said.

More than 2,300 hundred bachelor's, 320 masters, and 200 doctoral and MD degrees were completed, marking the beginning of many bright futures. "Next step is medical school, hopefully. I have a job down in Boston but hopefully I'll be right back here in 2015," Veal said.

For Veal and other graduates, Sunday marks the end of one accomplishment -- and a new opportunity to change the world.

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