They came, they listened, they conquered


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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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).

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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.

-S.S.

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Photos by Candace diCarlo

Originally published on May 28, 1998