2019 Commencement Speeches Inspire

By IC News staff, May 19, 2019
Addresses from the president, the commencement speaker and the senior class president urged graduates to make positive change.

President Shirley M. Collado

In her remarks to the members of the class of 2019, President Shirley M. Collado said she was proud of their “tremendous fire, inspiring ideas and sharp intellect.”

“I want you to know that it has been a tremendous personal honor for me to be a part of your lives,” she said. “I know the past years have changed you — and there’s more change to come. When it does, I ask that you let your years here activate a life of purpose; one that anchors you in your truth while connecting you to our shared humanity. We look forward to seeing all that you will accomplish.”

Read her full speech.

Mildred Garcia

Mildred García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, told graduates at Ithaca College’s 124th Commencement ceremony that they have a profound responsibility to use the achievement of their degree to serve as a beacon of hope and opportunity for others.

“Today we celebrate far more than a degree achieved; we honor a dream, your dream, realized,” García said. “I am proud that each of you now joins me and President Collado in being the change we want to see in the world, so that the next generation of diverse students encounters less obstacles and more opportunities, less discrimination and more equal pay, less broken hopes and more broken glass ceilings.”

Read her full speech.

Ezeka Allen ’19

Senior Class President Ezeka Allen had the opportunity to address her classmates, saying she was incredibly honored and humbled by the occasion. She thanked the IC faculty and staff for all they have done for students, and echoed García in acknowledging that the graduates would not likely have reached this milestone without support from their families.

“But our journey doesn’t stop here,” said Allen. “My wish for you, Class of 2019, is that you find your own version of success and happiness and chase it, even if you must chase it around the world…Don’t be afraid to take risks, and always try to fail forward so you’re getting a little closer to your goals. Take the lessons you’ve learned at IC and turn them into passions and create the prosperity that matters to you.”

Read her full speech.