Hunter’s 209th Commencement: A Celebration of Diversity, Achievement and Great Expectations
On May 27, at Radio City Music Hall, Hunter's Class of 2014 graduated and joyfully celebrated its achievements.
President Jennifer J. Raab led an inspirational ceremony that highlighted the struggles and personal triumphs of many members of the graduating class. Journalist Eleanor Clift received an honorary doctorate of humane letters, and spoke emotionally of her immigrant parents before telling the graduates, "When I look at you, I see a 21st-century version of myself." Musician and educator Wynton Marsalis accepted the President's Medal before delivering a stirring commencement address.
Also taking the stage were Senator Chuck Schumer (D. NY), who recalled the path he chose following his own commencement, and Senator Claire McCaskill (D. MO), whose daughter Lily was graduating that afternoon.
In his thrilling tribute to Hunter, New York City and a student body he described as "magnificent," Marsalis urged Hunter's graduates to "step toward creating the world you imagine and never give up on the world that exists in your imagination."
Speaking in a rhythmic cadence suggestive of one of his great trumpet solos, the internationally acclaimed musician, bandleader and composer called New York "the primary destination of people coming to the United States to fulfill grand ambitions" and anointed Hunter the "jewel in the crown of achievement" of the city's entire educational system.
"At Hunter College, you learned how to collaborate with others not at all like you, but exactly like you," Marsalis said. Describing Commencement as a day shining with the "magical glow of achievement," he ended with the declaration, "The magic is you."
Click here to view photographs from Hunter's 209th Commencement.