In just over a week, Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie presided over ceremonies at which 20,499 graduates were recognized across IU's seven campuses.
The Class of 2018 came from all 92 counties in Indiana, all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and 136 countries. Among the graduates were 39 sets of twins. The oldest graduate was age 75, and the youngest was 19 years old.
At each campus, students were completing their educational journeys and each ceremony was unique. IUPUI graduated NBA star George Hill who was completing his degree after starting it nearly 15 years ago. Even though IU Northwest student Joe Willis wasn't able to attend the campus's official commencement ceremony, he received his diploma from his dean at University of Chicago hospital where he was recovering from heart transplant surgery.
At IU South Bend, the ceremony included a husband and wife graduating together with degrees in Musical Theater Performance, and at IU Bloomington, first-generation college graduate and aspiring doctor Eashan Kumar, delivered the student commencement speech.
It was the 50th time in the history of IU Southeast that students walked across the stage to take their diplomas, and IU East held a luncheon in honor of students who earned degrees through the IU Online program. IU Kokomo celebrated its largest ever graduating class while a small but mighty 280 degrees were conferred by IUPUC this May.
Although IU's Class of 2018 was diverse, each of the graduates received the same charge from McRobbie during the commencement ceremonies.
"Venerate the truth," he said. "Search for it. Defend it when it is challenged. Value the experience and expertise of others. Remain humble in the face of complexity."
McRobbie's challenge to the Class of 2018 was a reflection of the great educational and research institution from which they would graduate that for nearly 200 years "has stood—and will always stand—for truth."
"Remember the work at the heart of your alma mater: the search for truth and the dissemination of knowledge to generations of students—students like you—whose characters are molded by the very values of this great institution," he said.
Read IU President McRobbie's speech