Claremont McKenna Colleges Celebrates Commencement 2012

In her remarks to graduates during the College’s 65th Annual Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, President Pamela Gann noted how some 1,400 days have gone by since the Class of 2012 first arrived at CMC. With a smile and a hint of jest in her voice, she described the graduating seniors seated before her as “totally erudite, illustrious, civilized on all occasions, good-humored, witty,” and, sometimes, even possessing a “modicum of humility.”

The afternoon ceremony was held beneath a white tent, accompanied by perfect Southern California weather. Featured speaker N.R. Narayana Murthy P’02, who founded Infosys in 1981, complimented the College on the education his daughter Akshata received at CMC. “Because of her preparation here, she is ahead of me in almost everything she does,” Murthy said. “Hardly a week passes that I don’t consult her, to leverage her wisdom and critical thinking on matters important to me.”

Murthy’s address naturally touched on technology and globalization, and on how the Internet has conquered both distance and time. He also noted its immense force in mobilizing political reform, including uprisings for democracy. He touched briefly on the Internet’s 24/7 news cycle. From here in California, for instance, he could read about the news and happenings in India even before his family, on the other side of the world, rises.

He called technology one of a few “challenges” that he, himself, did not face as a college graduate, but that now face generations to come. Two other challenges, he said, are carbon emissions (combined with environmental responsibility and sustainable lifestyles), and religious polarization.

As he wished the Class of 2012 well, Murthy left CMC graduates with a quote from President Robert F. Kennedy: There are those that look at things the way they are and ask, Why? I dream of things that never were and ask, Why Not?

The ceremony also featured remarks from student-elected speaker Paige Costello, Class President Mary Doyle, Jeremy Merrill and John-Clark Levin, who delivered the Latin Salutation, and Carol Oliver Hartman ’86, president of the Claremont McKenna College Alumni Association.

Watch some of the Commencement 2012 highlights in this video.