As part of today’s celebration, each member of our Class of 2020 received a box of goodies from the college. In this box is your Class of 2020 medallion, with a quote from Frederick Douglass, one of the most courageous and bold leaders in our nation’s history.
I selected the quote in January, well before this global public health crisis and well before the rise of activism against the sobering and very real legacy of racial injustice in America. Douglass’ quote resonates deeply for me today, particularly as I think about this class and the reality we all are in.
Douglass reminds us to keep optimism alive—even in the darkest times. To presume and to expect the very best of others. To not only remember our shared humanity, but to act on it.
I look forward to seeing how you will live these words in the coming years, and how your IC experience will help you find your place in a changing world.
This year, as part of Ithaca College’s 125th Commencement, we are proud to honor three outstanding people—individuals whom I hope you will draw inspiration from as you look toward your future:
Cindi Berger, an alumna of the Class of 1983, who’s both our Commencement speaker and one of this year’s honorary degree recipients. She’s the chairman at R&C PMK, an international public relations and marketing firm. Cindi has demonstrated such courage and drive as she worked toward her current leadership role after beginning her career with the company as a receptionist shortly after her graduation from Ithaca College.
Bill McKibben, an environmental powerhouse who has helped shape public perception—and public action—on climate change, alternative energy, and the need for more localized economies. Today, we celebrate Bill as an honorary degree recipient and acknowledge his visionary leadership.