UNC Board of Governor Criticized by Professors due to Commencement Speech Remark on Diamond Rings

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A member of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, Thomas Fetzer, gave some remarks at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington commencement ceremony. But, his advice to students stirred some angst among those who heard his comments.

Fetzer gave advice on financial practices, such as borrowing money, such as paying cash for everything to avoid debt, and then pointed remarks to the young men in the audience. He said, “Young men, I will add one thing to the list of things for which you may borrow money. A diamond ring. Because it will appreciate, and so will she.”

Local media outlet WBTV obtained some e-mails from UNC-W faculty members who were critical of Fetzer. One said that Fetzer’s diamond ring comment “was something right out of 1965.” Another professor said that the same comment “was right out of 1865” and another professor e-mailed that Fetzer’s speech was full of “belittling and denigrating to swaths of our population and counter to UNCW’s purported commitment to honoring inclusion and all peoples.”