The 6,000 newest Cornell graduates have much to look forward to, said President David Skorton, and many notable achievements to celebrate. But with education and success comes a responsibility to work for the public good -- and such work is critical for overcoming the "sorrows and challenges" of today's world.

Skorton addressed the Class of 2008 -- and their friends, families, teachers and mentors -- in Schoellkopf Stadium on a postcard-perfect Commencement morning Sunday, May 25.

A sometime poet, Skorton began his speech -- perhaps with a nod to Convocation speaker writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou -- with verse describing the "University" as "a way to future & A chance for courage & A call to action."

Expanding on this theme, he noted that Cornell has long recognized the importance of both theoretical and applied learning, but equally vital is the university's ability to instill and cultivate a sense of social responsibility in students, faculty and staff.