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Ceremonies honor graduate achievements

POSTED AT 08:27 PM ON May. 9, 2010  (UPDATED AT 08:33 PM ON May. 9, 2010)

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Fifty-three countries, 42 states, 89 Indiana counties.

The 2010 graduating class of IU came from far and wide, but they now all have something in common — they are alumni of IU.

With parents, friends and professors looking on, undergraduate students celebrated Saturday at two similar commencement ceremonies in Assembly Hall.

At 10 a.m. the School of Education, Jacobs School of Music and more were represented, while the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Optometry, among others, were represented at the 3 p.m. ceremony.

Students filed in at the start of both ceremonies to fill the floor of the basketball arena as well as several sections of the audience seating. IU Provost Karen
Hanson, board of trustees members and representatives of the Indiana University Alumni Association assisted IU President Michael McRobbie in presiding over both ceremonies.

“Your many achievements at Indiana University are a testament to the time you’ve invested into all that you have done,” McRobbie said to the students.

The oldest graduating senior, McRobbie said, was 60, while the youngest was 19.

“We also have 33 sets of twins graduating tonight,” he said.

Because both ceremonies drew packed crowds, coordinating parking and guest services was a daunting task. Maria Talbert, events coordinator for the IU Auditorium, said approximately 100 staff members were needed for the weekend.

“Everything has gone really smoothly,” Talbert said.

During both commencement ceremonies, McRobbie conferred an honorary Doctoral of Music to speaker Quincy Jones. Preceding the conferral was what McRobbie called a first for commencement: a short video about Jones and his career.

The musician, activist and producer, among other things, gave his commencement address for both ceremonies, offering 77 years of wisdom, advice, jokes — and a few requests.

“Stop downloading illegal music,” Jones said, inciting laughs and claps from the audience.

Jones, a longtime friend of IU Distinguished Professor David N. Baker, told “all the Hoosier mamas and papas” to dream big, learn how to listen and never be satisfied.

Jones also quoted another longtime friend, the late Frank Sinatra, who told Jones to live every day like it was his last, and one day he’d be right.

“That man knew how to party,” Jones said.

Before students could start the long hunt for their parents in the crowds, McRobbie offered — in both his charge to the class and closing addresses — even more advice.

“Take your skills and talents, your diligence and determination, your intelligence and effort, and be the creators of tomorrow,” he said.

 

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