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Commencement 2023

A Day of Inspiration & CelebrationThe Class of 2023 is urged to draw from the lessons of the pandemic, their perseverance, and their friends and family as graduates leave campus.
photo of the Class of 2023 celebrating in Fauver StadiumCEREMONIAL CELEBRATION: Students, families, and friends celebrate the conferral of degrees. (Photograph: Keith Walters for the University of Rochester)

The University celebrated more than 4,000 graduating students during this spring’s Commencement in Fauver Stadium at the Brian F. Prince Athletic Com-plex.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro ’95 addressed the graduates, urging them to cherish the friendships they formed on campus, to remember the support of those who helped them on their journeys, and to value the lessons they learned from faculty.

“I presume each member of this Class of 2023 has someone here at U of R—maybe on the stage, maybe out in the crowd—who deeply impacted you along the way, who you think of, and who I believe you will draw inspiration from for many years to come,” he said.

photos of Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro and graduate student speaker Raven Osborn at the 2023 graduation ceremonyHONORS & ADDRESSES: PhD graduate and student speaker Raven Osborn is greeted by classmates; Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro waves as he heads to the platform; (Photograph: Keith Walters for the University of Rochester)

Shapiro was one of three guests who received honorary degrees during the ceremony. Also honored were Michelle Albert ’94M (MD), a prominent cardiologist and the first woman of color and Black woman to serve as president of the American Heart Association and the Association of University Cardiologists, and Claudia Goldin, a professor of economics at Harvard University, where she was the first woman in the department to receive tenure.

Surgeon and entrepreneur Jude Sauer ’81, ’85M (MD), ’88M (Res) received the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal, the University’s highest alumni award for service and achievement.

photos of President Sarah Mangelsdorf, Hutchison Medal recipient Josh Shapiro, and senior Weihong Gao at the 2023 graduation ceremonyHOORAYS & HAPPINESS: Senior Weihong Gao celebrates under the clock tower on Dandelion Square; President Sarah Mangelsdorf presents Hutchison Medal recipient Jude Sauer with his award. (Photograph: J. Adam Fenster (Sauer); Keith Walters for the University of Rochester (Gao))

Alexandra Fegler ’23, the president of the Senior Class Council, congratulated the undergraduates for their ability to build a strong community in the face of the pandemic. And Raven Osborn, who earned a PhD in translational biomedical science, used her story of perseverance in higher eduction to celebrate the achievements of students who feel marginalized or who face obstacles in their efforts to succeed.

President Sarah Mangelsdorf shared her own connection with this spring’s class, noting that she also arrived on campus four years ago and also had to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. She applauded the graduates for believing in themselves.

“You completed a world-class university education despite all that,” she said. “And make no mistake, those qualities—resilience, adaptability, perseverance—the qualities that got you here during some very trying times, will serve you well throughout your life journey.”