Voices from convocation.
The 536th Convocation on June 4 marked the first full in-person convening of the University since 2019. Here are a few remarks from that day, as well as from College Class Day on June 3, that left us thinking—and sometimes laughing.
Take a moment, if you will, and look at those around you. You are part of an utterly remarkable and very special community: University of Chicago alums. Throughout your lives and careers, you will always know when you’ve encountered one from the questions that they will ask you. Trust me, you’ll recognize each other instantly.—Paul Alivisatos, AB’81, President and John D. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor in Chemistry
My advice to you today: resist the comfort of a static worldview. The universe, dynamic and evolving, continues to surprise us. We need to be prepared for and receptive to change. Continually and critically examine your own assumptions and preconceptions. You leave the University of Chicago uniquely prepared to remain open as you seek answers to complex questions.—Wendy Freedman, John and Marion Sullivan University Professor in Astronomy and Astrophysics and the College
Graduating from the University of Chicago can feel like the culmination of the hero journey. Called to adventure, you separated from your parents. You left the ordinary world for the mystical land of Hyde Park. You sought out mentors and realized that caffeine was the greatest of supernatural aids.—Samira Ahmed, AB’93, MAT’93, author of Love, Hate & Other Filters and Ms. Marvel and College Class Day guest speaker
We, along with the rest of humanity, are taking a massive leap out of the shadow that is COVID-19—not into some utopia, but into a world of even greater uncertainty. Make no mistake, we are living through an extraordinary time. … Our class, you and I, together, we have the collective emotional and intellectual wherewithal to answer those challenges if we so choose.—David Liang, AB’22, one of three Class Day student speakers