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The threat of inclement weather nearly relocated the Spring Commencement ceremony, held May 4, from Flowerhill to the Student Activity Center. Facility and Event Scheduling staff worked diligently to prepare both locations for the event. With slight alterations to the ceremony, the University pressed on with the event on Flowerhill.
In his keynote address titled “A sense of purpose”, alumnus and world-renowned researcher, Dr. Richard D. Cummings told graduates, “to live life with a sense of purpose is the highest achievement one can have.”
Cummings currently works as the S. Daniel Abraham Professor of Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School in Boston. He is also the director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Glycoscience.
With his broad and deep expertise in the biomedical sciences, Cummings is one of the country’s leading biological chemists. He is a co-founder, among other well-known scientists, of the fields of glycomics and glycobiology. Cummings has more than 300 peer-reviewed publications in the field, along with more than 70 review articles, dozens of book chapters and is the co-editor of the first textbook in glycobiology “Essentials of Glycobiology,” now in its 3rd edition.
Cummings offered the audience advice that he found beneficial is his career. “Don’t worry about the mistakes you make. It’s important to make new mistakes to make a difference,” Cummings explained.
In his words of wisdom, Cummings challenged the class of 2019 to find what made them passionate and to be pioneers in their fields, always trying something new. “No one can see your footprints if you travel on roads everyone else has traveled. Discover your own path,” he advised.
Following the address, President John W. Stewart III conferred 327 candidates for bachelor’s degrees (which included 143 from the College of Arts & Sciences, 54 from the Stephens College of Business, 58 from the College of Education and 72 from the College of Fine Arts), 67 candidates for master’s degrees and 11 candidates for the educational specialist degree.