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DePauw Graduates Class of 2023

In a beautiful morning ceremony on East College lawn, DePauw University celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2023, adding 360 new members to its esteemed alumni community.

Ross Gay delivering a keynote addressRoss Gay, (left) an award-winning poet, essayist and professor, delivered the keynote address, encouraging graduates to be “curious about all this care.”

He continued, “Of voicing out, of celebrating and hollering and sharing all this care. I’m pretty sure it makes even more care. It inclines us to participate in this care by adding our care to the bottomless, the unfillable and yet somehow always full reservoir of care. Another name for which might be hope.”

Concluding his speech, Gay said, “Maybe we make hope when we notice and study and celebrate and share all of this care we’re in the midst of. And maybe hope is especially made when we join it.”

J.D. O’Keane from Lake Bluff, Illinois, the recipient of the Walker Cup for his significant contributions to DePauw over four years, delivered warm greetings to his fellow graduates. “Our time at DePauw is a gift for which we should all be grateful. What we received here and what we will have forever is an undeniable, rock-solid foundation. Life can be challenging, unpredictable, and ever-changing, but we can take solace in the fact that our futures are built on the best!”

The university awarded three honorary degrees. Jordan Margaret Casteel, an artist who confronts traditional notions of gender and race in portraiture, was awarded an honorary doctor of arts. Ross Gay, an award-winning poet and professor who believes joy should be taken more seriously, was awarded an honorary doctor of letters. Andrew Williams, the first director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, was awarded honorary doctor of public service degree.

A video of the commencement ceremony is available here.

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