Towson holds rare outdoor commencement

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Don't worry about the rain, and remember to serve your community.

Those were the messages speakers delivered yesterday at Towson University's commencement. Nearly 2,500 students got their degrees in two ceremonies, held at Johnny Unitas Stadium on the school's campus.

A light drizzle fell in the morning, and Towson President Robert L. Caret told graduates that he would try to hurry through the ceremony if the rain got worse. Much to the relief of school officials, who were monitoring the weather via laptop computer in the stadium's press box, heavy rain never materialized.

The morning ceremony's featured speaker, James C. "Chip" DiPaula, the state budget secretary, urged the graduates to volunteer for civic organizations, vote and help others.

"One cannot separate career from public service," said DiPaula, who graduated from the university in 1986.

It was the first outdoor graduation ceremony in recent memory, according to school officials. Commencement was previously held in the school's athletic facilities.

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