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Indiana University's Class of 2022 is ready


It was a privilege and a joy to meet so many Indiana University students and their families during spring commencement activities over the past two weeks — returning to fully in-person events for the first time in two years.

As I walked among our graduates, eager to receive their degrees, decked in decorated caps — like these from IU Northwest — so many shared how IU had changed their lives through their involvement in research, student organizations, internships or study abroad opportunities. The strong showing of faculty at our ceremonies illustrated their dedication to our students, and many of our graduates took a moment to credit a faculty member who inspired or guided them.

The stories and talents our graduates shared from the commencement stage were a testament to their experience at IU and their readiness for what’s next.

IU South Bend speaker Rana Hamad described herself as a first-generation student and daughter of a Palestinian immigrant who never expected to be speaking from the commencement stage, and she encouraged her fellow graduates to believe in their dreams.

When Cici Bellis, a retired professional tennis player, spoke to her fellow graduates, she said IU East was the second chance she needed when her life took an unexpected turn. She said she excelled there in part because of her involvement in Cash Equals Opportunities, an organization that teaches financial literacy.

At IUPUI, as graduates braved the rain under ponchos, student speaker Chris Cardoza drew from his father’s example, pointing out that all of us have a magical power to shape our future and the future of others.

At IU Kokomo, graduate Nathaniel Moore shared a beautiful rendition of our alma mater. At IU Southeast, our graduates continued a long tradition of popping bright confetti, a physical representation of their excitement about reaching this milestone.

Given all that our graduates have already achieved and aspire to, I know that the words of IU Bloomington student commencement speaker Jordan Davis are true: "We hold the key to completely transforming the world as we know it."

Our Class of 2022 is ready for all the joys, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  Let's do all we can to make sure they know that they will always be a part of the IU family.


Pamela Whitten

Indiana University

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