Nearly 7,700 students graduated from Arizona State University on Monday and entered a flourishing economy with a good outlook for jobs.
But as family and friends filled Wells Fargo Arena, the newly minted graduates were urged to continue learning throughout their lives.
“We are an institution whose principal product is a master learner — a person capable of learning anything,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow as he addressed the undergraduate commencement, which conferred almost 5,600 bachelor’s degrees. Commencement for the 2,100 master’s and doctoral degree graduates was held Monday afternoon.
“You experienced a special environment where we allowed you to pursue your dreams and we empowered you to focus on what you wanted to learn. But more important than that, we focused on you learning how to learn,” he said.
Change is constant, Crow said, and mastering the process of learning will enable the new graduates to be creative and adaptive.
Photos: Undergraduate commencement
The graduates should recognize how privileged they are to have attended college with the support of their families, ASU and the taxpayers.
“Privilege demands duty, and the duty is to the future,” Crow said. “If you’re not happy with the way things are right now, you have a duty to move that forward.”
Karrin Taylor Robson of the Arizona Board of Regents told the graduates that their degrees are an important victory for the state of Arizona.
“Arizona benefits tremendously from your achievement and from a well-educated workforce, and we hope you will continue to call Arizona your home and you will allow our state the honor of continuing to play a role in your success,” said Taylor Robson, who also is an ASU alumna and the parent of a new ASU graduate.
“I hope you realize the great benefits of your education and that you will support education throughout your careers, whether it’s mentoring young people and helping them realize their dreams, supporting the state’s leaders who champion education or becoming a teacher in our great state.”
New graduate Celine Orsini is taking up that challenge. After the traditional maroon-and-gold balloon drop to close the morning commencement, she walked out of the arena feeling relieved at having completed her degree in psychology. Next she’ll pursue a master’s of education.
“I’m looking at becoming a school counselor or a teacher because I want to talk to kids and help them move on with their lives and get them on the right track,” she said.
Photos: Graduate commencement