The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday September 29th

Tutu is a great choice: We all can learn from Commencement speaker

Graduating from college is a giant time in students' lives—it marks the end of classes of homework and of testing" and the beginning of a transition into ""the real world.""

An integral part of many college graduations is a commencement speech from a keynote speaker" and in May 2009 Archbishop Desmond Tutu will address our very own UNC graduates.

Tutu's appearance at Carolina follows that of a renowned opera singer and a former U.S. Secretary of State. While these are definitely respectable speakers it's hard to beat an appearance from a legendary peace advocate and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

Archbishop Tutu became the first black general secretary of the South African Council of Churches in 1978.

His anti-apartheid activism while in this position is legendary and he is now a key mediator in the transition towards democracy in South Africa.

Tutu's work against apartheid is what led him to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and be elected Archbishop of Cape Town two years later.

In a time when all of our graduates are set to leave school and accomplish amazing things Tutu's advocacy for democracy freedom and human rights will resonate throughout campus and beyond.

Graduation means a lot to the students their families and the reputation of our school and Tutu's appearance comes at a perfect time for this year's graduates.

Tutu's appearance becomes even more commendable in light of the fact that UNC doesn't pay its commencement speakers. The chancellor's office has been in communication with Tutu since last year and lucky for us it has finally worked out for him to come.

Chancellor Holden Thorp summed it up well in a press release Monday when he said"

""I can't imagine a finer"" more qualified person to inspire our graduates and their families.""

Tutu's words should be inspiring to everyone who attends" and we should feel humbled to have such an important figure come to our campus.

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