President Judy D. Olian told the graduates that Commencement has always marked an exciting, and perhaps, slightly anxious time for graduates.
“A major, even mega formative chapter in your life has come to an end, and you’re now just getting started on writing a series of new chapters in your life,” she said. “Chapters that will contain exciting journeys, eye-opening experiences, successes and setbacks — that’s part of moving forward, opportunities to impact individuals, and communities all around you.”
She told the graduates that they each completed their college experience forged in crisis and, as a result, are uniquely positioned to overcome adversity.
“We live in times of social and political polarization, of growing tensions along economic, gender, religious, ethnic and racial divides,” she said. “These challenges also present opportunities at a time when our country is also experiencing unprecedented discoveries in medicine, technology, services and social connectors that — if deployed wisely — could radically alleviate these tensions. You are the generation that can achieve this. You are the future sociologists and journalists, political scientists and educators, and so many other professions that will help facilitate these positive developments, helping bring these discoveries to life, making them broadly accessible, fighting for fairness and the truth, challenging the entrenched social order that is unequal.”