Class of 2022 receives a second round of wisdom from Frank Bruni ’86

Blog | June 16, 2022
After the commencement ceremony, Morehead-Cain hosted its traditional Open House at the Foundation for the newest cohort of graduates and their families. (Photo by Joe Benson ’23)

Written by Megan Mazzocchi, Associate Director and Director of Alumni Engagement at Morehead-Cain

When the Morehead-Cain Class of 2022 settled into their seats at Kenan Stadium on May 8 to hear their commencement speaker, they were met by a very familiar face at the podium.

Frank Bruni ’86, New York Times opinion writer and author, not only delivered this year’s address to their entire Carolina graduating class, but had also been their keynote speaker at Final Selection Weekend 2018. Each finalist that year received a personally inscribed copy of Frank’s book Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, and many spoke with him after his talk.

To the 3,894 undergraduates, 1,417 master’s students and 846 doctoral and professional students who received degrees this spring, Frank said, “You have many, many important choices ahead of you . . . but none of those choices will have as much bearing on your decency as a human being and your happiness—your fundamental, enduring happiness—as a choice that you will make monthly, daily, even hourly. And that’s whether you’re going to be somebody who counts her blessings or somebody who tallies her slights.”

Thank you, Frank, for bookending their undergraduate years with your wisdom, and congratulations to the Morehead-Cain Class of 2022!

Bruni will give a Seven Talk at the 2022 Alumni Forum this October.

Reflections from a graduating senior on taking the road toward ‘feeling empowered to take

Contributed by Melanie Godinez-Cedillo ’22. Melanie is one of the former scholar directors of the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Fund Board.

Melanie Godinez-Cedillo ’22 is headed to the Latin American Leadership Academy (LALA) following her graduation from Carolina.

Sitting in my “Carolina blue” cap and gown and hearing the words of Mr. Bruni brought my scholar class full circle.

This time, however, instead of nervously looking around the room and feeling intimidated by those around me during the Final Selection Weekend banquet, I looked around the stadium and locked eyes with a few scholars and shared warm smiles.

It was almost poetic to hear from Mr. Bruni again, especially as I reflect on his words that stuck with me as a finalist: “Do you take the road that leads to your best self?”

After throwing my cap into the air and shedding a few tears of joy, I can confidently say that my Morehead-Cain journey opened that road and has given me the resources I need to continue down its path. As Mr. Bruni said, we have many choices ahead of us. I choose to take the road that leads me to continue feeling empowered to take chances and follow my passions.

We’re at another fork in the road, class of 2022. As Taylor Swift has said, “How can you know everything at eighteen, but nothing at twenty-two?”

Frank Bruni told our 18-year-old selves that “if you’ve gotten this far, you have shown you can steer your life with clearness and purpose.” I have nothing but trust and confidence in each member of my class, and I’m excited to hear about all the many things that everyone has to do.

Congratulations, class of 2022!

Read more from Melanie about her time at Carolina.