SARA XAYARATH HERNANDEZ: Welcome, graduates, loved ones, and distinguished guests to the PhD recognition ceremony. I'm Sara Xayarath Hernández, dean for Inclusion and Student and Faculty Engagement of the Graduate School. The academic procession is about to begin.
Please take your seats and kindly clear the aisles. Also please take a moment to make sure that the ringers and sound is off on your mobile devices. We ask that you remain in your seats and do not get up to take photographs during the ceremony as a professional photographer will be taking them for your graduate and you.
As a safety precaution, please take a moment to locate the exit closest to you. In case of an emergency, listen carefully to the instructions over the PA system. Thank you.
The academic procession will begin with University Marshal, Professor Poppy McLeod, leading president Martha E. Pollack, Provost Michael Kotlikoff, and dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost of graduate education, Kathryn J. Boor, who will process into the hall. Next will be the Cornell University College deans. Followed by the deans, chair of the Board of Trustees Craig Kaiser will lead members of the Board of Trustees and university leadership.
The university faculty will be led by the dean of the faculty, Professor Eve De Rosa. Finally, more than 300 PhD candidates will proudly possess into the hall to their seats near the stage.
As part of today's ceremony, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge that Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogohono. The Gayogohono are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign nations with a historic and contemporary presence on these lands.
The confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York State, and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogohono dispossession and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogohono people, past and present, to these lands and waters. Thank you for joining us today.
KATHRYN BOOR: Good afternoon, everyone. And welcome to the most wonderful afternoon of this year. It's a thrill to have you all here.
I'm Kathryn Boor, dean of the graduate school and vice provost for graduate education. I'm delighted to welcome the members of the Board of Trustees, the faculty, university leadership, college deans, degree candidates, and families and guests. The assembly is hereby called to order. Yeah. It is my honor and my great pleasure to introduce to you Provost Michael Kotlikoff.
MICHAEL KOTLIKOFF: Thank you, Kathryn. Thank you, Dean Boor. And welcome, everyone. It's wonderful to share this joyous occasion with all of you and to welcome all of you to this celebration of a key milestone in the lives of the doctoral candidates, we recognize today. I especially like to welcome the families and friends who are here with us for this very special ceremony and to thank our faculty members who have supported and guided these scholars.
Candidates, I know how much your family and friends have encouraged you through periods of challenge over the course of your degree and how they have been with you to celebrate each success. Let's now take a moment to thank them for all of that support. Candidates, would you please rise and applaud-- please turn to your family and friends and applaud them for all their support.
Thank you. A PhD is set apart from other degrees that reflect broad knowledge and competency because it recognizes the creation of new knowledge. Through this creation, you have achieved the highest level of knowledge or expertise in your field. Your PhD is evidence of your intense commitment to discovery and your fierce desire to offer unique understanding and perspective to your areas of study.
It has been a privilege for my fellow faculty members and me to work with you and witness and support your growth from students to future colleagues. Through the significant, innovative insights and ideas you've developed in your dissertations, your contributions to intellectual discussions and to scholarship, and the important teaching roles many of you have undertaken in your fields, you have contributed enormously to this university. We are so proud of you and your journey of discovery. Let's give them an applause.
We are enormously proud of you and your journey of discovery and dissemination of knowledge. On behalf of the faculty, I offer my congratulations and best wishes for your future success, and look forward to hearing of all of your accomplishments in the future. It's now my honor to introduce the 14th president of Cornell, professor of computer science, information science, and linguistics, Martha E. Pollack.
MARTHA E. POLLACK: Good afternoon, everyone. And congratulations, graduates. It is a tremendous honor to be speaking to you today as the last speaker at the last event of what will, for almost all of you, be your last graduation. This isn't-- you hope so, right?
This isn't the first time you've stood in a cap and gown with an achievement behind you and new adventures ahead. But today you receive the highest degree there is to earn in academia. Today you cross the line from students to scholars.
Crossing that line doesn't mean that there's nothing left to learn. Rather it means all of you have made your own contributions to what there is to learn. You've added to your fields and to human knowledge. You've become the world's expert on a topic that not only inspired your passion but was also deemed important and interesting by leaders in your discipline. And you've learned to share that experience with others.
The achievement is marked by the hoods you wear today and the title you'll carry for the rest of your careers. Those of you who attended the larger graduation ceremony in Schoellkopf earlier today heard me talk about courage and the metaphor for life's journey that we can find along the yellow brick road of L. Frank Baum. I want to say just one more thing about that metaphor and that journey.
At the very end of the road in the Emerald City, the wizard awards the scarecrow a degree that we don't offer at Cornell, a ThD or doctor of Thinkology. Now as people watching the movie, we know it's just a piece of paper. It means nothing. But for the scarecrow, it changes everything.
Nothing is different in his abilities and who he is from one moment to the next. What does change, what that piece of paper changes is how the world sees him and how he sees himself. What he's done, and what he's discovered, and what he's learned, those are the things that have changed him. But the piece of paper in a very specific way redefines him. It formally identifies him as someone with the skill and the wherewithal to formulate and ask penetrating questions, to analyze information, to create tests and refine hypotheses, and to communicate his ideas and his knowledge clearly. It recognizes him as a scholar.
All of you from this day onward will also be recognized and known as scholars. But while your path to this last graduation is over, your journey of scholars has only begun. And my wish for all of you is that you continue that journey, discovering, and learning, and expanding the boundaries of human knowledge through your work, and that you will share the joy of doing so with those you teach, or mentor, or work with so that they develop the confidence to do the same themselves. Congratulations to all of you.
KATHRYN BOOR: Thank you, President Pollack. Wendy W. Wolford, vice provost for International Affairs, and Durba Ghosh, Professor of History, will announce each candidate. Professional photographers will take a photo of each candidate throughout this process, so for the safety of our graduates and guests, please remain in your seats during this time. Very much appreciated. Will the candidates please rise, one row at a time, one row at a time, and please approach the platform?
KATHRYN BOOR: That was a marvelous spontaneous set of claps right there, but I'd like you to please join me one more time in congratulating our newest recipients of the PhD degree from Cornell University.
That was great. Thanks, everybody. The process of earning a doctorate is arduous. And I'll bet it's entirely possible that each of you had moments when you wondered if you were going to make it. The pandemic has impacted each of you deeply. And for this my heart goes out to all of you. But you accessed inner wellsprings of strength, endurance, and creativity that kept you going.
Congratulations on getting here to this point where you can take a deep breath and reflect on the years of hard work and on the people who supported you, many of whom are here today. So please give a thanks to your advisors who are here today supporting you.
Thank you. That was terrific. You had an opportunity a little bit earlier this evening to thank your loved ones who are here with us today. But for those loved ones who are far away, we have provided postcards in the reception area for you to send a note to them if they weren't able to join us today. Address as many of them as you want. And we will collect them at the exits and mail them to the people that you want to thank. So please do that.
Graduates, our newly anointed doctors, keep Cornell in your hearts as you go out into the world. And as you forge new paths for yourselves, add more pages to the atlas of knowledge in the way that only each of you can. And please keep in touch. We want to hear from you. And now I would like to invite everyone to stand and join us in singing your alma mater.
(singing) Far above Cayuga's waters with its waves of blue stands our noble alma mater glorious to view. Lift the chorus. Speed it onward. Loud her praises tell. Hail to thee our alma mater. Hail, all hail, Cornell.
Far above the busy humming of the bustling town, reared against the arch of heaven, looks she proudly down. Lift the chorus. Speed it onward. Loud her praises tell. Hail to thee our alma mater, hail, all hail, Cornell.
This officially concludes our ceremony but please remain standing while the platform party and the candidates recess. Everyone is welcome to join the reception. Thank you for attending this wonderful afternoon.
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At this event, we will celebrate and recognize the significant achievements of doctoral PhD, JSD, and DMA graduates from August ’22, December ’22, and expected May ’23 and August ’23. This special ceremony is for all Doctoral candidates to be individually recognized on stage and welcomed into the academy of scholars.