Commencement ceremonies at NAU kick off with inspirational speech from university president

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Commencement ceremonies have begun at Northern Arizona University with the first graduation of the weekend held on Friday morning.

Students in the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Engineering, Informatics and Applied Sciences all earned their diplomas in the morning.

Many of the students wore construction hard hats that displayed the NAU logo.

University president Jose Luis Cruz Rivera spoke to students during the Friday morning ceremony.

"The milestone here today that we celebrate is a powerful reminder that better days are sure to come. Why? Because we are confident that your knowledge and passion will fuel the movement for a more sustainable world," he said.

"You are now about to embark on an incredible new exciting life journey. What you make of that journey is entirely in your hands," said another speaker during the ceremony.

A third speaker encouraged NAU students to continue their forward progress, that graduation was just another step in their lives.

"Success is not an end result. Success is a journey and a journey that will take you in every step to the next step. So don't ever think that when you just got your degree here - because this is a success - this is just a start to a new path," she said.

Students from the College of Education and W.A. Franke College of Business are scheduled for 4 p.m. on Friday.

Saturday at 10 a.m. students from the College of Arts and Letters, College of Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences, NAU Yuma and Personalized Learning students walk the stage.

Ceremonies wrap up at 3 p.m. Saturday with the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.