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Message from the President and Conferral of Degrees

President Sarah C. Mangelsdorf

Class of 2020, you are ready for your next journey to begin.

This may not be the commencement you hoped for, but you are as well prepared for life’s challenges as any class we have ever graduated.

You have learned the values of the most important gifts we can provide—critical thinking, perseverance, the value of working with others, serving the community, and your personal commitment to Meliora.

You will succeed because of your talents, your education, your work ethic. You have shown resilience in an uncertain and deeply unsettling time; you have demonstrated sacrifice during a crisis. In the face of so many obstacles, you have triumphed. You are the leaders in whom we are all investing our future.

Graduates, have confidence in your abilities and take pride in your accomplishments, knowing that the faculty and all of us who had a role in nurturing your personal and intellectual development are immensely proud of you.

To quote Michelle Obama, “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once, but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.”

Graduates, have confidence in your abilities and take pride in your accomplishments, knowing that the faculty and all of us who had a role in nurturing your personal and intellectual development are immensely proud of you.

In the course of life’s events and in the face of more challenges ahead, I know you will continue to do all that you can to make the world ever better.

And now it is my honor to confer your degrees.

The University of Rochester, upon the recommendation of its faculty and approval of its Board of Trustees, admits each of you to the degree for which you have been recommended, and confers upon you all of the rights, privileges, and responsibility of that degree.

I offer my personal congratulations for your accomplishments, and I welcome you to the fellowship of scholars.

Congratulations, Class of 2020!

President Sarah C. Mangelsdorf

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