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DePauw celebrates class of 2024 at 185th Commencement

Students throw caps during commencement ceremony

On Sunday, May 19, the class of 2024 gathered on the East College lawn to receive their degrees and join the distinguished company of DePauw University alumni.

President White began the ceremony by expressing gratitude to a class whose members entered DePauw under the difficult circumstances of a global pandemic. “I know your first year at DePauw was rough, and that is probably an understatement,” she acknowledged. “Yet, you stayed the course, believing that DePauw was still the place where you wished to earn your college degree, and because of your optimism, enthusiasm, perseverance and talent, you have made incredible academic contributions over these past four years and helped to lead the resurgence of campus life at DePauw.”

The ceremony’s featured speaker was Douglas Hallward-Driemeier ’89, a former Walker Cup recipient and Rhodes Scholar. As one of the nation’s leading lawyers whose numerous arguments before the Supreme Court include the landmark 2015 case Obergefell v. Hodges, Hallward-Driemeier used his message “Allyship as a Virtue'' to challenge the graduates to use their privilege for something bigger than themselves.

“In a world in which, both at home and abroad, there seems to be ever increasing polarization and conflict, the virtue of allyship is more critical than ever,” he argued. “We can only hope to repair our civic community and to solve generations-old divisions if we can truly see and listen to each other, to hear each other’s pain and understand each other’s longings. Only through practicing allyship can we learn to celebrate our common humanity and build the bonds on which our collective survival depends.”

The class of 2024 was represented on stage by the newest Walker Cup recipient Aaron Trinidad, a communications major and religious studies minor from Chicago, Illinois. He encouraged his classmates to embrace their weirdness and all the things that make them unique. “I hope our class leaves DePauw showing others you can’t ask for permission to be you. You just need to be yourself. If you follow your heart, dare to be different, and use all the colors in the crayon box, who knows where you might end up?”

The university also welcomed back Daniel Mendoza ’01, a pioneering scientist and professor of atmospheric sciences, internal medicine, and urban planning at the University of Utah. Mendoza was commended by President White as “a dynamic catalyst for a healthier and more equitable world” and presented with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.

To view images from the event, visit the Commencement Photo Gallery.

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