They came, they listened, they conquered

The University sent its 242nd graduating class out into the world May 18 under a brilliant blue sky. And unlike last year's Commencement, the assembled graduates on Franklin Field could actually stand the heat, thanks to temperatures in the mild 70s.

But that didn't mean they stayed dry: after President Judith Rodin showered accolades on the honorary degree recipients, the graduates showered water on themselves as their degrees were confirmed.

The dousing was in keeping with the festive spirit of the day. As has become customary, graduates decorated themselves with leis, messages and other items that expressed their joy - or is it relief? - at having successfully completed their studies.

And amid the pomp and pageantry, there was also plenty of spontaneous celebration - even the dignitaries found time for a little relaxed conversation.

Commencement Day capped a weekend filled with activities, such as the 20th annual Alumni Run, won this year by Dennis Newman (EAS'95) and Lisa Baird (C'98).

Even if, as Commencement speaker Jimmy Carter's grandson told him, nobody will remember a word of what was said that day, those assembled will carry the emotions of Commencement weekend with them for the rest of their lives.


Photos by Candace diCarlo

Originally published on May 28, 1998