We are fortunate here at Emerson that Commencement not only celebrates the Class of 2013, but welcomes the participation of the entire community. Underclassmen are able to facilitate lineup, faculty are invited to attend in full regalia, and staff members, like myself, have the chance to volunteer and see the students we’ve connected with over the years cross the stage.
This past Sunday was Emerson’s 133rd commencement and it was an occasion for celebration, thoughtful words of wisdom, reflection and remembrance, and a sense humor that is #soEmerson.
Keynote speaker Max Mutchnick ’87 reminded graduates that they were “Emerson Strong,” harkening back to the Boston Strong t-shirts designed and marketed by Emerson students. Mutchnick reflected happily on how his time at Emerson propelled him to where is today. His speech ended with a laundry list of advice ranging from humorous (“Red Vines are better than Twizzlers”) to candid and astute (“being interested is more important than being interesting”).
Not to forget that Commencement day was also Mother’s Day, many people at the podium including Mutchnick and student speaker Patrick McDonald ’13, called upon grads to be grateful for all their parents had afforded them.
This was also the first year that Emerson hosted graduation at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The new location was big, bright, and festively Emerson – the Class of 2013 processed down purple carpets and sat facing a stage that was lit up by a purple-to-gold gradient.
Always a time of mixed emotions, we are happy to see our students spread their wings and enter the world with grit, but we are sad to see them go! After rattling off a series of Emerson inside jokes, President Lee Pelton said his farewell with great sincerity: “All of us here wish you happiness, but wish you much more than that… Happiness that endures and lasts even when pleasure is absent.” I couldn’t have said it better myself as Emerson’s best and brightest take flight into post-collegiate life. We will miss you, Class of 2013!