Uc Berkeley Commencement Ceremony

July 16, 2007
Salina Villegas

Over 1,700 students graduated from the University of California, Berkeley today. The 117th commencement ceremony was held at the Greek Theatre on the Berkeley campus. At least 7,000 spectators were present at the event, said Berkeley chancellor Stephanie Martin.

Among the students graduating were 67 Ph.D. candidates and 626 students received master’s degrees. Students received degrees in fields ranging from archeology to zoology.

Novelist and essayist Anne Lamott gave the commencement address. Lamott urged graduates to live their lives without self-imposed limits. She also encouraged students to disregard the expectations of their parents, family and friends.

“Mostly you see the masks and the holograms that the culture presents as real,” Lamott said. “You see how you’re doing in the world’s eyes, or your family’s, or – worst of all – yours.”

She also spoke of how the graduates should seek their own spiritual identities. Lamott reminded the students they were part spirit, love, and freedom. She encouraged the graduates to nourish their spirits by righteous acts, such as helping the poor in spirit.

Lamott compared spirit to the idea of a Dr. Seuss firefly. “You can close your eyes and feel the divine spark, concentrated in you,” she said. “Like a Dr. Seuss firefly. It flickers with aliveness and relief.”
Lamott ended the speech on a light note.

“Refuse to wear uncomfortable pants, even if they make you look really thin.” Lamott jokingly said, “There is way too much lying and scolding going on politically right now without your pants getting in on the act, too”.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License