2012 Commencement: College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering

Uploaded by UniversityRochester on 21.05.2012

The first thing I wanna do is I wanna hear this class
the greatest class to ever graduate the University of Rochester
the class of 2012. Let’s hit it!
This is your day to take stock and congratulate yourselves.
You have successfully completed one of the major steps in life’s long journey,
and you’ve done it at one of the outstanding educational institutions in the world.
Over 50 years ago, I sat before you, the class of 1958.
Since I've put my 50 years in, it’s time for a little bit advice.
Exercise your passion.
Seek out what turns you on.
Find something where you really enjoy what you do every morning.
If you love your work, you will never work.
After long hard years of work and study,
you’ve made it!
This is your day of triumph; this is your day of joy.
All of us join in your celebration today.
You graduate into a world of accelerating change.
Do not fear this world.
You are unusually well prepared for it.
You possess unusually refined senses of self reliance and creativity.
That is the Rochester way.
Go forth with confidence and pride in your accomplishment,
knowing that your faculty and all who have had a role
nourishing your intellectual growth here are immensely proud of you.
To my fellow members of the class of 2012, thank you.
It has been an honor being a peer amongst you all as we learned and grew together over the past four years.
While we’ve all taken different paths to get to today’s ceremony,
it’s also true that we have had many experiences together that unite our class.
Remember the experiences we have had together:
the painted tunnels, your freshmen hall, your sports victories... for these are our roots.
But also feel empowered to move your life to the next level,
for this is not the end and simply just the beginning.
I grew up in a different time and context
where freedom was limited and gender roles were greatly constrained.
Indeed, my childhood was dominated by a lack of options,
in a culture that made clear everyday
that I was to be forever constrained by race, gender, and poverty.
I was told that I could not not aspire to a profession.
That I was not deserving of excellence in education,
but few who espouse such views understood
that a movement was taking hold that would change this reality.
For example, women today increasingly hold positions
of prominence, choice, and parity.
And that progress
and that progress while not complete is still improving.
The gender balance in this graduating is proof
that women rock.
So today graduates, you have an immense and welcome burden of choice that many, in previous eras, lacked.
I exhort you to live up to the community principle so clearly articulated in this university’s mission statement
if your education has served you well,
you will not shed its principles when you toss your hats into the air and return your academic robes.
Your education places a heavy burden upon you to use your knowledge to benefit society.
May you live with joyful discovery,
challenging dilemmas,
and uplifting choices that build your confidence in the blessings
in life, liberty, and human dignity.
May your highest aspiration be to live consonant with the sacred trust you hold
as an educated person to defend and advance the common good.
Congratulations to you all, and god speed.
[to our beloved college home, beside the Genesee]
A production of the University of Rochester
Please visit us online, and subscribe to our channel for more videos.