May 102013



By Katherine Ayers

Friday, May 10, 2013

Use your social media accounts for good.
That’s the message Valeria Lovelace gave the graduates during East Carolina University’s 104th commencement this morning.

“Show respect for women, men and diversity of culture through language messages,” she said. “Use your network to show (high school students) how people like you can graduate.”

Lovelace addressed nearly 4,000 students who received their diplomas during the 9 a.m. ceremony. Officials said the event went off without a hitch. This was the first time all graduates sat on the field rather than in the stands.

Lovelace, the founder of educational research and production company Media Transformations, impressed upon the graduates that the messages young children see on their televisions count.

“Those messages are recorded on your hard drive for a lifetime,” she said. “TV messages can be retrieved later to either help or hurt you.”

Like Dora the Explorer, one of the characters Lovelace created, she asked the graduates for their help in being part of a positive change.

Sarah Morgan Hunter, earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. She was one of five recipients of the Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award, the highest honor an undergraduate can earn, and said she’s beginning a master’s of business administration at ECU in the summer.

“I knew I wanted to attend a state school and when I came to ECU I knew it was where I wanted to be,” said the Henderson, N.C., native. “I knew I was home.”

Will Garren, who earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering technology, said he’s apprehensive about the future because his internship ends in July and he doesn’t have a job lined up.

“I’m a little excited and a little sad,” he said. “Now it’s on to the real world – it’s sink or swim time.”

Contact Katherine Ayers at and 252-329-9567. Follow her on Twitter @KatieAyersGDR.

via The Daily Reflector.


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