2017 Commencement Remarks

I am so pleased and honored to join you in celebrating the Commencement of the Scripps College Class of 2017!

I’d like to echo our Board Chair Mark Herron’s warm welcome to today’s Commencement ceremony. I know our graduates are thrilled that so many of their loved ones are here to share this special day as we stand together to acknowledge the fruits of their hard work over the past four years. It is heartwarming to witness the expressions of pride, joy, and hope on so many faces in our audience. I hope you’ve all brought tissue for the inevitable moments when those emotions spill over!

Please take a few moments to peruse the senior theses topics listed in your program. The senior thesis is the culmination of the Scripps educational experience and reflects the importance of research, independent critical analysis, and faculty-student interaction at the College. Our students’ work this year demonstrates how the academic rigor of the Scripps curriculum distinguishes Scripps students and prepares them to be lifelong learners in whatever their pursuits.

I congratulate each of you for completing such ambitious work. We are proud of your academic accomplishments.

Our distinguished faculty are both the authors and the guardians of academic excellence on this campus. Not only educators, our faculty serve as mentors, colleagues, and ambassadors for our students. I’m confident that each senior graduating today has a story to tell about the ways in which a professor or professors have shaped and enriched their Scripps experience.

I’d like to ask the Faculty to please rise and accept our acknowledgement for ensuring a premier educational experience for every student at Scripps College.

I would also like to thank the many Scripps staff who are committed to cultivating an exceptional educational and residential experience for our students.

Scripps is fortunate to have skilled and dedicated individuals on our facilities, maintenance, and grounds staff who ensure that a beautiful campus remains an essential part of the Scripps experience. Our talented, hard-working employees deliver stimulating co-curricular programs and activities to strengthen our community. They provide supportive services to help students through personal and academic challenges. They ensure that students have hot and delicious meals every day. And they provide meaningful work and volunteer experiences on and off campus to prepare students for careers and life. In short, they are here to ensure that your college experience is exceptional, unique, and memorable.

This beautiful ceremony and the other events throughout the day could not happen without their work behind-the-scenes, so please join me in thanking our staff for their service to the College.

I would also like to acknowledge the crucial role of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, god parents, and friends here today, who have supported our seniors along their educational journey from grade school through college. We thank you for sharing your bright, talented, passionate students with us for the past four years, and we salute you for all of your sacrifices and investments you have made for these students!

Finally, I would like to thank you, seniors for committing your abundant intellect, creativity, energy, and enthusiasm to the Scripps community for the past four years. Scripps is better as a result of your voices, your presence, and your gifts. I can’t wait to see what you will achieve as you direct your efforts toward the world that awaits you!

You have earned the honor and recognition you will receive today. It represents years of hard work, lessons learned, and growth attained. More opportunities and challenges lie ahead that will stretch, develop, and refine you but you will have an edge because of your Scripps experience. You will know how to excel through collaboration; by building community, and through harnessing your attributes for the good of others. You will have great friends in your fellow alumnae who will encourage you, cheer for you, and always see the best in you. You will have the wisdom gained from mentors who have cultivated your intellectual and critical thinking skills. And you will have a network of successful alumnae who are leading organizations, communities, and movements across the globe eager to help you do the same. You leave here with courage, confidence, and hope.

Remember though, you will always have this beautiful campus as a home away from home. It has left an imprint on you and you have left an imprint you on us. You will be greatly missed and you will always be welcome!