On Monday, the CC community gathered on Armstrong Quad to celebrate our144th Commencement. Commencement is a bittersweet time, as our graduating seniors close their college careers and embark on their next chapters. While it was difficult to say goodbye to theClass of 2018, I am confident that their creativity, courage, and commitment will lead them great places.
In myCommencement remarks, I recounted the many ways the Class of 2018 positively impacted the college and our community. As Professor Elizabeth Coggins beautifully articulated in herBaccalaureate address, it is by “learning to pivot” in our everyday actions that we generate lasting change.
Tony Award-winning producerNancy Nagel Gibbs ’71delivered an entertaining and insightful Commencement address entitled “Advice from the Players.” She reflected on the lifelong skills gained through her CC education, such as becoming a generalist and learning how to learn. Gibbs concluded that, like herself, the Class of 2018 has been “changed for good” through their time at CC.
In addition to Ms. Gibbs,David Buck ’83,Frieda Ekotto ’86, andPeggy Fleming Jenkins ’70receivedhonorary degrees. Dr. Buck and Dr. Ekotto are distinguished professors in the fields of medicine/community health and Afroamerican and African Studies/literature, respectively. Peggy Fleming Jenkins is an Olympic and World champion figure skater. Additionally, I was pleased to honor retiring faculty members Douglas Monroy and Dennis Showalter.
As evidenced by their manyaccomplishments and awards, the Class of 2018 holds immense potential. Their class motto, a quote from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., exemplifies their unwavering commitment to building an equitable and just society: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” As we send off our graduates, I believe that the world will be a better place because of this group of changemakers.
I am grateful to the families and supporters of CC who made our recent graduates’ education possible. And, thank you to the Class of 2018 for giving back to the college, with nearly 80 percent of the class donating to their senior gift.
While Commencement marks the end of the academic year, we have much to look forward to in the coming months. June will be a vibrant time at CC, as we host our world-renownedSummer Music Festivaland kick off ourexpanded Summer Session.