New Yorker Editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Remnick was the keynote speaker at the CMC’s 69th Annual Commencement.
Remnick, who received an honorary degree from the College, discussed “dissent, speech and politics,” recalling political protest and dissent when he was in college and comparing that time with what he sees today.
“Dissent, the mere fact of it… deserves respect. I have nothing but admiration for students who go about finding their political voices. It is not easy, not on any side. Dissent is a large part of the foundation of this country and the movement toward the horizon of a more perfect union, an equalitarian horizon that is never quite reached but constantly sought. This is a country largely built on dissent and sustained by it, from the founding fathers who, for all their myriad faults, began their civic lives not as statesmen, but as anti-Colonial rebels. To the abolitionists and the suffragists, the dissidents who have worked for civil rights, for women’s rights, gay, lesbian and trans rights, to Hispanic rights marchers, the Act Up activists and marriage equality campaigners and onto the Black Lives Matter movement today.”
PHOTOS: Commencement Day 2016
Professor of Literature Henri Cole read his poem, “Land of Never-ending Holes,” which included the following lines:
Remember the Zen axiom: Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Out there is a land of never-ending holes, where brown is the new green.
Out there are omnivorous, dazzling human voices—coarse cries, airy falsettos, heady
blues soul, and solemn low rumbles—speaking and teaching.
Class-elected speaker Varun Puri ’16 told graduates to “not get too attached to one life plan, to one notion of success, to one vision of what's right or wrong.”
President Hiram Chodosh, in his charge to the graduating class, said: “No matter where you are or how far from 2016 your life takes you, re-create your CMC experience.”
The Student Marshal for the ceremony was Valedictorian Jared Austin Goldberg ’16. The Faculty Marshal was Professor William L. Ascher. The ceremony included the singing of “Claremont McKenna” by Registrar Elizabeth Morgan. CMCAA President Susan Matteson King ’85 P’18 gave the Alumni Greeting. Senior Class President Kathryn Margaret Chakmak ’16 introduced the keynote speaker.