IU President Michael McRobbie stood in front of a crowd sporting black robes and tassels varying in color. There was complete silence to honor students who died this year.
However, this wasn’t a day for sorrow.
Rather, it was one for celebration.
“You have reached a significant milestone in your education,” he said. “We are very proud of you.”
The graduate commencement ceremony for the class of 2015 took place in the John Mellencamp Pavilion on Friday.
Along with the graduating students were thousands of family and friends in attendance.
Alumnus C. David Allis was the commencement speaker for the ceremony.
He received an honorary degree from President McRobbie prior to his speech to acknowledge the work done in his career.
Allis, who received his Ph.D. in biology from IU in 1978, said he often looks back on his days as a student on the IU campus.
He then offered four points of advice to the master’s and doctoral students receiving degrees.
The career path forward will not be a random walk, he said. Don’t be afraid to take risks, believe in yourself and find a way to give back.
After the conclusion of the speech, it was time for the conferral of the degrees.
One after another, students walked onto the stage to receive their degrees.
Loud cheers could be heard from the crowd after every name was called.
At the end of each aisle of seating was a group reminiscing about their experiences as graduate students.
“I really enjoyed support from the staff and the faculty in my program,” said Kristin Sayler, a graduate receiving a master’s in speech language pathology. “It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it.”
Many students offered advice for students entering the graduate program.
Marc Zaremski, who graduated with a master’s degree in science and recreation, continued into the master’s program after finishing his undergraduate degree at IU because of his love for the school, he said.
“Make sure it’s something you love where it’s never work,” Zaremski said “It’s always fun to get up and go to class, because you know it’s exactly what you want to do.”
Finally, the last name was called.
The ceremony came to a close with the singing of the alma mater, led by Gwyn Richards, dean of the Jacobs School of Music.
“When good things happen in my laboratory, I say ‘good show,’” Allis said. “Congratulations from one Hoosier to another. Class of 2015, good show.”