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IU Bloomington Graduate Commencement

Friday, May 5, 2023

IU President Whitten celebrates the Indiana University graduates earning advanced degrees at IU Bloomington.


The Indiana University family 

Trustees, Provost Shrivastav, faculty and staff colleagues, family and friends, and members of the Indiana University Graduate Class of 2023:

Indiana University's 14th president John Ryan once said: “Go where you will in the United States or the world today and identify yourself as a member of the Indiana University family, and you will find you are known, because a father or sister or husband has attended; or because a teacher or a Peace Corps member or doctor has brought his (or her) education from Indiana to that place… Indiana University marches tall in the first rank of the academic world.”[1]

IU’s vast alumni network and its global reputation have only grown since President Ryan spoke these words. In Indiana and beyond, IU graduates are engaged in their communities as business leaders, healthcare providers, journalists, judges, artists, scientists, teachers, social workers, and civic leaders. You and your fellow graduates who earn advanced degrees today are now poised to join them as the next generation of the IU family that will help shape our future.

But what does it mean to be part of the Indiana University family?

The character and actions of its members

You were welcomed into the IU family when you began your journey as a student. As IU graduate students, many of you have been engaged in research and scholarship that has helped expand the frontiers of your disciplines. Others of you have focused on mastering advanced training in a professional field.

But as you have learned, being an IU student is not just about attending classes, completing qualifying examinations, defending a thesis, and obtaining a degree. It's about being a part of a community that supports and encourages you to grow and learn in ways you never thought possible. It's about discovering new passions, meeting new people, and creating lifelong memories.

Being part of the university family means recognizing our shared humanity; treating each other with kindness, respect, and understanding; and building a campus culture that reflects our commitment to service, compassion, and respect for all.

Being part of the IU family means learning from and respecting this community's diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and perspectives. The students who earn graduate degrees today come from 78 countries, all 50 states, and 64 Indiana counties. Each member of the IU family brings unique experiences, perspectives, and talents. As part of this family, you have been exposed to new ideas, cultures, and ways of thinking that have helped shape who you are today.

And being a part of the university family does not end after graduation. You are IU Hoosiers for life, and we will continue to celebrate your achievements as you apply all you have learned here to make your mark on the world.

Celebrating the IU Bloomington graduate class of 2023

The best way to explain what being part of the IU family means is to look more closely at a few of the more than 3,000 students earning advanced degrees today, who together with tomorrow’s undergraduate class, comprise the largest graduating class in the history of the Bloomington campus.

For many of today’s graduates, IU is a family tradition. Many of you have siblings, parents, and other family members who earned IU degrees. In fact, some of you are earning degrees at the same time as family members, including (and this means a great deal to me because I am one as well) the one set of twins among today’s graduates.

Dr. Anita Gupta, who earns her MBA today through the Kelley School of Business Kelley Direct program, has the distinction of earning an IU degree on the same weekend as her son, Agrayan, who will earn his undergraduate degree from the Kelley School tomorrow. Dr. Gupta earned her medical degree in India, where she is from originally, and she also holds a master's degree in public health from IU. She served as president of the Asian Pacific American Faculty and Staff Council, where she worked to promote the development of Asian Pacific American faculty and staff on all eight IU campuses and to address issues of major concern in the Asian Pacific American academic community.

Raman Sah, an international student from Nepal, graduates today with a doctoral degree in Vision Science from the IU School of Optometry. He has investigated why virtually every child in many parts of the world is nearsighted and therefore, needs to wear glasses and is at increased risk of sight-threatening eye diseases. His research explores how contact lens optics can be specifically modulated to slow this detrimental eye growth.

Jacob Alder graduates today with a master’s degree in public affairs from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He is president of Alder Metrics LLC, an independent consulting venture through which he provides analytical support and research on projects relating to utility energy efficiency. During his time at IU, he completed a trip to Antarctica, where he met with a research team to discuss environmental challenges. After graduation, Jacob will join Deloitte, working in their government and public services division as a strategy consultant focusing on climate and energy.

And Alex Tedrow, who graduates today with a Master of Music degree and a Master of Science in Music Education from the Jacobs School of Music, has, like his fellow Jacobs graduates, contributed to Indiana’s cultural identity through his arrangements and compositions. Alex worked as a community engagement specialist for the school, helping to connect rural Indiana communities with music resources and opportunities. This year, he will begin as a full-time music arranger for the premier U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D.C. 

Among today’s graduates are countless other examples of students who have demonstrated creativity, produced new insights and discoveries that improve our world, and uplifted and supported their fellow students.

Enduring traditions of the IU family

Of course, all families have unique traditions, and the IU family is no exception.

Families stay in touch, and you can expect that we will reach out to you often in the coming years because we know that you care not just about this institution, but also about the people who comprise your IU family.

Families celebrate together, whether their members are together or far-flung. We know that in the years ahead you will join in celebrating the accomplishments of your IU family—whether it’s the next IU faculty member to win a Nobel Prize or the next IU graduate… maybe one of you… to make a groundbreaking discovery.

And no matter where their individual members may go in the world… families always come home. We hope you will make return visits to the campus and eventually share your hard-earned wisdom with future members of the IU family.

As you move into the next chapter of your life, remember the lessons you have learned and the relationships you have formed here. Cherish these memories and take them with you wherever you go.

May you continue to care for one another and develop and exercise your commitment to serving others.

And remember that you will always be a part of the Indiana University family.

Congratulations and best wishes to the Class of 2023.



[1] John W. Ryan, The Investiture of John W. Ryan as the 14th president of Indiana University, delivered January 20, 1972, IU Archives.

IU Bloomington Graduate Commencement

See more about the 2023 commencement season at Indiana University.