Imagination encircles the world
President Williams directed her speech to the inscription on the medallions traditionally passed out to the graduates before they entered the stadium. This year's medallions bear a quote from Albert Einstein: "Imagination encircles the world."
"We have been blessed throughout history with individuals -- some famous and some not so famous -- who have applied their imaginations to solve the greatest and smallest of the world's challenges and who have explored questions and opportunities of every proportion," Williams said. "While some have imagined cures for disease, others have envisioned space travel and exploration. Others have dreamed of technology that would connect us to one another around the world with the click of a button, while others -- through their art, music, and writing -- have expanded our worlds by taking us to places beyond the known and the familiar."
Williams encouraged the new graduates to follow in the footsteps of those creative pathfinders and to never forget that imagination is not limited to any culture, nation, or personality trait.
"As you continue to create the futures you imagine and you look out into the unknowns of a complicated and exciting world -- a place in need of powerful hope and enlightened leadership -- you hold opportunity in your hands," she said. "Cherish it. Use it wisely and humanely, and enjoy yourselves in the process. Let your knowledge and character be your foundation, and your imagination be your guide and inspiration."
Those thoughts on leadership reflected back to what Hamilton had said earlier to the latest Ithaca College graduates: "If I can leave you with anything, it's this: you will never, ever, ever regret taking the highest road in every situation. Hold yourself above anyone else that you judge, bring them up, lend them a hand, help them."
Left: In addition to honoring its new graduates, the College awarded Herman E. "Skip" Muller Jr. '51 an honorary doctor of letters degree, bestowed by Provost Peter Bardaglio. Muller was elected to the board of trustees in 1966 and served as its chair from 1993 to 2001. In 2003 he was named an honorary trustee.
Photos by Tom A. Mike