'(Your) duty is to the future,' President Crow tells the university's newest graduates
Nearly 7,700 students graduated from Arizona State University on Monday and entered a flourishing economy with a good outlook for jobs.
But as family and friends filled Wells Fargo Arena, the newly minted graduates were urged to continue learning throughout their lives.
“We are an institution whose principal product is a master learner — a person capable of learning anything,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow as he addressed the undergraduate commencement, which conferred almost 5,600 bachelor’s degrees. Commencement for the 2,100 master’s and doctoral degree graduates was held Monday afternoon.
“You experienced a special environment where we allowed you to pursue your dreams and we empowered you to focus on what you wanted to learn. But more important than that, we focused on you learning how to learn,” he said.
Change is constant, Crow said, and mastering the process of learning will enable the new graduates to be creative and adaptive.
Photos: Undergraduate commencement
Marketing graduate Bryson Craven (left) and business law graduate Rashad Patton run in the few minutes prior to the start of fall 2017 undergraduate commencement on Dec. 11 at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Clinical Assistant Professor Julia LaRosa and Henry Zheng walk to the commencement ceremony Monday morning.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Keith Doerschlag gets a little help with his cap from his longtime girlfriend and fellow graduate Alexa Haase before the fall 2017 undergraduate commencement. He earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering, and she earned a Bachelor of Science in urban planning.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Students enter the arena before the start of fall 2017 undergraduate commencement Monday morning.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
ASU President Michael M. Crow enters the arena before fall 2017 undergraduate commencement Monday morning.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Biological sciences graduate Kallie Shields blows kisses to her family Monday morning at Wells Fargo Arena.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
University Senate President Arnold Maltz places the university's mace on the stand, signifying the beginning of the fall 2017 undergraduate commencement. Almost 5,600 students graduated with bachelor's degrees Monday. Learn more about the university's traditional commencement objects here.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
ASU graduates and veterans (left to right) exercise and wellness graduate Peter Grijalva III (Army veteran), health science graduate Sheila Morco (Air Force) and exercise and wellness graduate Horacio Rodriguez (Marine Corps) stand and cheer during the national anthem at undergraduate commencement.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Microbiology graduate and Coast Guard veteran Shaun Collins stands to be recognized during fall 2017 undergraduate commencement.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Dual major (interdisciplinary art and sciences and interdisciplinary arts in performance) Sarina Guerra (right) stands to be recognized with her fellow graduates during fall 2017 undergraduate commencement.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Sarina Guerra, a dual major in interdisciplinary art and sciences and interdisciplinary arts and performance, shows off her mortar board covered in grains and chilis in honor of her family and heritage.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Aniika Gjesvold applauds her fellow students' accomplishments. Gjesvold earned a Bachelor of Science in information technology.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
President Michael Crow speaks at the fall 2017 undergraduate commencement at Wells Fargo Arena on Monday morning.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Science of health care delivery graduate Diana Chen smiles during the ceremony at Wells Fargo Arena.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Nursing graduates (from left) Abigail Lagarde, Carol Kimani and Olivia Moar cheer during the ceremony Monday morning.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
ASU Online and Starbucks College Achievement Plan graduates Luke McCubbins (left) of San Francisco and E.J. Bonino of Chicago move their tassels to the left side, symbolizing their graduation. Both earned Bachelor of Science degrees in information technology.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Design management graduate Crystal Inzunza taps one of the scores of falling balloons celebrating the conclusion of the commencement ceremony.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Marcia Oppong (left) and Maria Portillo hold onto their balloons after undergraduate commencement. Oppong earned a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism, and Portillo earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Graduates exit the arena after undergraduate commencement Monday morning.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Biochemistry graduate Amani Tinkasimile gets a big hug from his younger sister Patricia Ibalo after the fall 2017 undergraduate commencement Monday morning.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Interdisciplinary studies graduate Brandon Weigand and his father, Russ Weigand, pose for a photo together after the ceremony Monday morning.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
ASU Online and Starbucks College Achievement Plan graduate Emily Lassalle poses for a picture for 10-year-old sister Grace as their mother, Jenny Lassalle, watches after the undergraduate commencement at Wells Fargo Arena. Emily received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Design studies graduate Zixiang Jin poses for a photo with Wells Fargo Arena as a backdrop.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
The graduates should recognize how privileged they are to have attended college with the support of their families, ASU and the taxpayers.
“Privilege demands duty, and the duty is to the future,” Crow said. “If you’re not happy with the way things are right now, you have a duty to move that forward.”
Karrin Taylor Robson of the Arizona Board of Regents told the graduates that their degrees are an important victory for the state of Arizona.
“Arizona benefits tremendously from your achievement and from a well-educated workforce, and we hope you will continue to call Arizona your home and you will allow our state the honor of continuing to play a role in your success,” said Taylor Robson, who also is an ASU alumna and the parent of a new ASU graduate.
“I hope you realize the great benefits of your education and that you will support education throughout your careers, whether it’s mentoring young people and helping them realize their dreams, supporting the state’s leaders who champion education or becoming a teacher in our great state.”
New graduate Celine Orsini is taking up that challenge. After the traditional maroon-and-gold balloon drop to close the morning commencement, she walked out of the arena feeling relieved at having completed her degree in psychology. Next she’ll pursue a master’s of education.
“I’m looking at becoming a school counselor or a teacher because I want to talk to kids and help them move on with their lives and get them on the right track,” she said.
Photos: Graduate commencement
Music doctoral students (from left) Hae Ju Choi, Yeo Jin Seol, Associate Professor Andrew Campbell, Xuelai Wu and Paul Lee take a selfie together before the fall 2017 graduate commencement Monday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
The schools' and colleges' gonfalons process into the graduate commencement ceremony at Wells Fargo Arena on Monday. About 2,100 students earned master's degrees or doctorates at the ceremony.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Criminal justice graduate Destinee Brittingham (right) and her fellow graduates stand during the graduate commencement ceremony Monday.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Music education doctoral graduate Isaac Bickmore is hooded by Professor Sandra Stauffer (left), and Associate Professor Nancy Serwint and anthropology doctoral graduate Laura Anne Swantek hug (at right) during the fall 2017 graduate commencement.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Associate Professor Nancy Serwint and anthropology doctoral graduate Laura Anne Swantek pose for a photo from family, after Swantek's hooding Monday at Wells Fargo Arena.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Public administration and policy student Gabel Taggart receives his doctoral hood from Assistant Professor Derrick Anderson on Monday at Wells Fargo Arena. Anderson is standing is for Regents' Professor Barry Bozeman.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
ASU President Michael M. Crow congratulates a new doctor at the fall 2017 graduate commencement Monday.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
College of Public Service and Community Solutions graduate students (from left) Trent Chandler, Hira Ismail and Benjamin Nieves applaud during the fall 2017 graduate commencement.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Behavioral health doctoral graduate Selethia Mitchell walks off stage with her degree during the fall 2017 graduate commencement.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Human and family development graduate Starr Law waves to her family.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Master of Fine Arts graduate Veronica Aponte holds up the Venezuelan flag during graduate commencement.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Kody Volkman greets her fans as she leaves the stage. She earned two master's degrees: an MBA and one in legal studies.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Yesenia Pedro grabs a balloon after the graduate commencement ceremony. She earned a master's in higher education.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Behavioral health doctoral graduate Selethia Mitchell gets a hug from friend Abisogun Kokumo after the ceremony Monday afternoon.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
ASU staff and sustainable tourism graduate student Teri Candelaria and her husband, Steven Candelaria, and parents, Debbie and Ken Braun, pose for a photo after the ceremony.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Adesola Rotimi gets some help adjusting her master's hood from her father, Olatunji Rotimi, as her mother, Oladunni Rotimi, watches after the fall 2017 graduate commencement at Wells Fargo Arena. Adesola earned a master's degree in quality, reliability and statistical engineering.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Social work master's degree graduate Leslie Shuck holds her 1-month-old son, Xander Shuck, after the graduate commencement Monday.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now