Harvard Business School Commencement 2020
637. Is, the number of days until, graduation. Every. Day counts, I would. Like to be the first to, well known Harvard, Business School, MBA, class, of, 2020. Are. You ready. Here. We go, I'm. Just looking forward to everything you, know the ups and downs and, the academic. And the social experience, that, really can't be one single thing that I'm not looking forward to I've. Heard that you made friends for a lifetime here, it. Feels really, comfortable here doesn't, feels like a family and I just can't wait to kind of make our own mark ahps. Donna. I'm. Going, to Bangkok, Thailand and I feel amazing. I. Could. Have not imagined, a better MBA, experience. You. All are the reason these two years were so special you. Were my family my, friends and my mentors, you. Challenged, me and inspired, me to become a better version of myself. We, welcome two new faces into, our homes we. Stood and applauded, for visiting Paris, we. Remembered, a partner's name and treated, them as part of the family, time. And, time again we, reminded, each other, what makes Harvard Business School so unique it's, the people. We, find ourselves in a time of unfathomable, contrast. Coming. Off of some of the best years of our lives into. An unprecedented. Climate, of turmoil, but. I think you're powerful, and we are just going into our own strength we've, already developed a prototype mosaic. Is a healthcare data aggregator, announcer, and. Never have I been more proud of our global community than, during these last lives because. Despite everything that is happening around us we, are part of the community of exceptional. Individuals. Always. Prevails. Class. Of 2020, wherever. In the world you, are right now and whatever you're wearing, enjoy. The journey as you venture into the great unknown, armed. With the people and the experiences this, place has given us. Honored. Guests. HBS. Students who will assume me the newest HBS, alums. HBS. Faculty, and staff welcome. To the commencement day of the great HBS, class of 2020, I'm. Jan Rifkin shared the MBA program and, I, have the privilege of introducing, this, wonderful, day. First. For our graduates, dear graduates, congratulations. You, have made it the. Day is finally here day. 637. Since. You first gathered in carbon hall and start the MBA program and. For. The doctoral students joining us today it's. More like day 1,500. For you I know the feeling well, congratulations. To our doctoral. Graduates. I knew. That when the class of 2020, first get you would be a special, class and class unlike, any class in the history of HBS, but. I will confess I did, not understand, all the ways that you would be special. The. Number 2020, is not just your class year it also signifies. Perfect, vision right 20/20. Eyesight but. I don't think any of us had the 20/20, eyesight to. Foresee it would maybe gathering, today for. The first virtual, commencement, in the, 112 year history of HBS, but. Here we are virtually. The. Good news is that we're not constrained today by the youthful, limits of, agra fee anyone. Anywhere, can, celebrate with us so. We expect this to be the. Best attended, commencement, in the history of HBS. Let. Me welcome our many, guests to the virtual campus. Parents. Grandparents. Step parents, aunts uncles. Siblings. Partners. Kids family, friends, we, are so honored you are with us today and, I, want to urge each member of the class of 2020, to reflect on the people who are with you and with you or near behalf today virtually. And, and. Only. In spirit these. Were, your earliest, investors, they. Were in before the a round they were your angel, investors, and let's, be honest there, were moments when, the investment, looked a little bit iffy but. They stuck with you, many. Of them carried, you in their arms in the past all of them carry you in their, hearts, today and every day I want. To encourage our graduates to reach out to their backers. Physically. If you're co-located, electronically. If you're not and thank. Them for all they've done to. Make this day possible. Now. The rest of the day will be spectacular, first. Up this morning is classmate, organized. By student we used to reflect in the last two years then. We will send you across the virtual Charles River from, HBS, to, Harvard University, and Harvard. University president going back out will, confer degrees this. Is the magic moment when you officially, graduate. After. A short lunch, we'll bring you back for the HBS, to pomace ceremony you'll. Hear from our Dean break. Into sections to be recognized, individually. And get. Some final words of wisdom from. One of your favorite family members I hope. And trust that we a special and meaningful day for you new graduates, a day to. Reflect, on all you've accomplished, to, catch your breath and maybe. To dream a little about the exciting, path ahead of you, so. With that overview let. Me hand you over to of our wonderful. Graduates, Robby. Dixon the, head senator of the Student Association and, Melanie's.
Firming. Our chief community officer, Robbie. And Melanie have. Skillfully. Led a terrific, team of, students, in, design today I pass. You to them with. All the admiration and, gratitude for, what they had done and with. The warmest, congratulations, to. All of, the members of the HBS, class of, 2020. Thank. You Jan for, your thoughtful, words you. Know ever since here, addressed to us on the very first day of school in August 2018. Your. Words have always been so meaningful for, us throughout our entire process. Here so thank, you and hello. Everyone, my, name is Melanie, Sperling, I'm from, section C and I'm. HBS's, chief community, officer, for the class of 2020. And. My. Name is Robby Dixon I'm a, very proud member of section, D and I'm HBS's, head senator for the class 2020. Mellie. And I are so incredibly, excited to assert as their class state co-chairs, and we're honored to be emceeing, this morning ceremonies. We. Would like to just take a minute to thank, de Nuria and all, of the amazing faculty and staff for making today happen and of. Course thank, you to our family friends. And the amazing, Harvard Business School class of. 2024. Berry here with us today, now. Amalia and I assumed our role is last year we, knew there would be planning class day but we never expected, for today to be on zoom' versus in person however. We have worked tirelessly over, the past few months to ensure that everything, you experienced, today will be flawless and true HBS fashion. So. What exactly is class day this, is the time for us to reflect on the past two years starting. From when we first saw our acceptance, note when. We got our first cold call and, immediately. Panicked when. We took who weekend trips with friends, and shared stories that brought us closer and, when, we may, or may not have dodged our first zoom cold call by pretending, we couldn't underneath, ourselves. Today. Is a celebration of, those moments that will forever bind, us as a class and to the HBS, community, today. Is an opportunity, to recognize the exceptional. Faculty, peers. And, personal support systems that, led us through these. Past two years now. While, we know it's been a very difficult two, months for everyone who's tuning in today. We're here to celebrate our incredible, accomplishments, and our graduation, from Harvard Business School the. Past two months do not define, our last two years here at HBS what.
Defines Our HBS experience, is our relationships, our, learnings, and our personal transformations. You. Know if anything these past two months have just shown us and, given us a preview of what it really means to maintain our close relationships, outside of HBS's, campus, and, now. Who better to speak to us about this important, accomplishment, than our much-loved co-presidents. Gabi, Santana, Goldstein, and Connor cash as. Leaders. Of the Student Association which. Is HBS's, student, government organization. Gabon. Connor have led a team of over 30 people that. Touch upon all aspects, of student life here at HBS I. Feel. So. Lucky to be introducing, Gabi today, you. Know Gabi was my very, first friend here at HBS and has become family to me not, only is she thoughtful, and kind, but, Gabi. Is also incredibly. Impressive, she. Was born in the Dominican Republic and, raised in Queens New York prior. To attending Harvard Business School, Gabi spent eight years in the tech industry, during. Her time at HBS Gabi, served as the women's rep for her section, section, C and as student association, co-president. Gabi. Is personally, passionate about causes, related to education, health care and social justice, she. Serves on the board of Planned Parenthood's, League of Massachusetts. As well, as Boston, Children's philanthropic, Board, of Advisors. After. Graduation, Gabi. Will be spending the summer enjoying, time as a new mother to, her baby boy Theo, alongside. Her partner Adam and dog gimli she. Will then join Wayfarer, as a senior, manager on the marketing team here in Boston, and. I, also feel incredibly, lucky to be introducing, our other co-president. Connor cash, although. Connor and I met back in 2008, 18 an admitted, students event in New York City you. Know I'm sure that neither of us could have predicted that our HBS pass would, have taken us at this point that. Said I feel so fortunate that we've gotten a chance to get closer over these past two years and, I'm so excited to see our friendship continue after school. Conner. Was born and raised outside of Boston Massachusetts and, prior, to attending Harvard Business School, he, spent three years in finance first. And Investment Banking where he focused on the technology sector and that a private equity where he focused on investments, of renewable, energy infrastructure, now. In addition to his role as student co-president. Connor. Is also a very, active, member of the club basketball team as well as the African American Student Union here at HBS. He. Obtained his Bachelor of Science, in engineering physics, kumoi. Day might I add with. A minor in business and that all came from Cornell University, at. Cornell, Connor is also heavily involved with this fraternity Alpha, Phi, Alpha fraternity incorporated, and, other, nonprofit, organizations such. As sponsors, for educational, opportunity. After. Graduation, Connor. Will spend his summer launching. His sustainable, starting. Startup. Which, he's calling Cesar. Thank. You Mel and Robby for that wonderful, introduction, good. Morning, dear family, friends, faculty Dean. Nuria Distinguished, Alumni speakers Mizzou and indeed even Ellie and of, course the class of 2020. My. Name is Gabby Santana, Goldstein I am one of your Student Association co-president. And forever, a proud member of section, C, my. Name is Connor cash I'm, also one of your student Association co-presidents, and a proud member of section C together. We, have had the immense privilege of representing you over this past year, we. Gather today virtually to, celebrate, not only the past few years together but. To thank those who supported, us throughout our journey to, Harvard Business School, and. Though none of us envisioned. Celebrating, this day from a distance we, feel lucky that so many of our loved ones were able to join us today from all over the world growing. Up is the daughter of two immigrants, I watched my parents work, extremely, hard to.
Learn A language and a culture not their own ultimately. Building, to small businesses. Sacrificing. Beyond belief for the dreams of their children they. Taught me that by always embracing. Kindness, generosity, and, a love for education I, could, achieve anything in, life it. Was through the support of teachers mentors, and my family and friends that, I was able to pursue numerous, life-changing, opportunities, that, would positively, impact my community back home as well. Early. On in our RC year Connor and I realized we had a mutual appreciation for. What the support of a community, can mean to an individual, we. Owed our own successes, to the many people who supported us along the way a notion. That served as the basis, for our running together as student association, co-presidents. Which, is undoubtedly. The defining, experience of our time together at hvs we, thank you for the opportunity, I was. Raised just outside of Boston where, I grew up in a single-parent home even. Though my dad passed away I was very young my mom, was always there to prop up my brother Tyler I mean she. Instilled in us the, confidence to take on the world to, dream big but, always put academics, first she. Was my biggest cheering section and. Our biggest motivator I started. Setting higher and higher goals for myself and she was the reason why I'm. So thankful for her pushing me to achieve my own highest potential in many ways she, was only parent I ever had so, when she fell ill and ultimately passed away when, I was 19 in. One instance I lost both my parents and. Dealing with this loss I leaned heavily on my, friends family, and, mentors I would not be here today without, the immense love and support I received, during this time. When. I stepped on campus nearly. Two years ago I was, determined to make the most of my time here first. And foremost for my parents who I knew were proudly watching over me I knew, how much this would have meant to them and, secondly, for all those who, had sacrificed their time and energy to improve my own circumstances, I wanted. To do what I could, to improve this experience for, those that came after me. With. That backdrop when the opportunity, to be a co-president of the Student Association arose, I knew. Deep down this, was something I wanted to dedicate my time to but. My shy and reserved self would be stretched, thus. Again I'm so thankful for those who pushed me to outside of my comfort zone and supported me along the way. Not. Only did, I get to spend immense, amounts of time with, an incredible partner in crime and, watch her manage, and juggle more, than I could ever imagine I had. A front-row seat to observing, the incredible things that the faculty staff and students, can accomplish through. Intense collaboration and, Trust, we. Tackled, socio-economic, challenges created. New avenues for students, to come together and, engage with one another and, we. Envisioned, how we interact with our physical spaces in a more inclusive way, this. Was Bloomington that we began to build early in the year but. As the pandemic came our way we had to disperse go. Digital and socially distance ourselves our. Priorities shifted to focus on managing the transition to, virtual learning and, engaging in the digital community through. This process we saw the strength of the community and, just how important it is to work together as one over. The last few months I have thought often about what the Cova 19 pandemic, has revealed about our community, at HBS. Overnight. Everything. Changed as we were forced to say goodbye to friends, who, had to jump on planes to get home before borders, closed classes. Went online partner. Stayed home and our kids where all of a sudden home schooled none. Of this was easy but. It revealed about our community, and ability, to look out for one another's well-being. Ultimately. Coming together in spirit even when physically, apart over. Spring break faculty. And staff work tirelessly to, move our curriculum online while. Our online, learning facilitators. Pause their full-time jobs to support our, digital learning we've.
Seen Peers launch tremendous, relief efforts such as MBA tsvetkova 19, and lift our community, up through events like the HBO show in HBO's, hot town all beautifully. Executed virtually, our, custodial, staff doubled, their efforts to keep our common spaces sanitary. And the restaurants, associates team redid our lunch menu to ensure we had food that could be safely picked up as for. Me personally, this. Is the community, that lifted me up as I ain't asleep waited, the arrival, our first baby Theo amidst, the uncertainty, of the pandemic. Coming. Together in these ways can only happen because of the strong foundation we've. Built throughout or two years to, we, didn't become strong because of kovat 19 but. Rather the, challenges, with which the pandemic presented. Us revealed just how strong our community, has, always been, the. Sobering times serve as a reminder of, the delicate balance in the world and, our place in it Harvard. Business School educates leaders who make a difference in the world and as, such we are tasked with great responsibility, we. Do have the ability to make a lasting impact yet, to achieve this potential, we must stay true to what we believe in what we stand for and. We must be grounded in humility, and share, gratitude to all that have helped us get here we. Are the result of a supportive, community of family friends, and mentors who. Helped mold us into the people we are today, and provided guidance on making the most of ourselves as. We leave the designation, of an MBA student to, a graduate of HBS, we, must ensure that we do the same for others be. Sure that we are opening our doors and, dedicating our time to build up more communities, these. Efforts and many more will have a lasting effect especially, in these times. As. Leaders, we will emerge into unchartered territories, and. Many of us will have to be more flexible than we ever imagined, will. Be defined by our continued, dedication to improving circumstances. For all we. Have the opportunity, to be remembered as the class of 2020 who, took to heart the charge of becoming leaders who make a difference in the world, during. Orientation week, we are asked to contemplate depression. What. Is it you plan to do with your one wild and, precious life. Standing. Before you today I, want to share some thoughts on how to at least begin to respond, to this challenge in his. Book how, will you measure your life beloved, HBS, professor clay Christensen, who passed away earlier this year writes purpose. Must be deliberately, conceived, and chosen and then, pursued, class. Of 2020. This, is our time to choose, and pursue, our purpose. Professor. Christensen elaborates, I used, to think that if you cared for other people you needed to study sociology or. Something like it but, I concluded, if you want to help other people be, a manager, if done, well management. Is among the most noble of professions, you are in a position where you have eight or ten hours every day from every person who works for you you have the opportunity, to frame each person's work so, that at the end of every day your employees, will go home living, a life filled with motivators. I believe. We should pursue, a purpose, of fostering, a strength in our future communities, that, resembles, the determination. And kindness, exhibited. By our community, these last few months as HBS. Graduates, we possess the training, and opportunity. As Professor Christensen States to, make a lasting, impact on the many lives will touch this. Ability to use our experience to, encourage and guide those around us is I, believe a key part of extracting, the most meaning from, our wild, and precious lives. As. We enter into the real world keep, these values close to your heart when. We come back for, our one-year five-year. Or 20-year reunions, our priorities, will change as we enter different stages, of our lives but, the strength of this community, will continue to be tested just. As it was in supporting the friends and families, of the members of our community that we lost this year as, our. Paths diverge we, will see the true strength of each of our commitments, to one another and the small interactions, that we seek out whether.
It's Organizing, a group ketchup, or checking in on a classmate, you haven't heard from in a while the. Fabric, of our class rests. In each of our hands. With. That we. Have three asks, first. We, ask that each of us be vulnerable in taking that first step to reconnect with a classmate. Second. We ask that we appreciate, all those that sacrifice, so much to get us here, and. Third seek. Out ways to build up others along the way if. We accomplish this we, will continue to hold this community together stay, grounded in gratitude and live, a meaningful life thank. You all so very much, and see, you soon. Wow. Thank. You Gabi and thank you Connor you, know I'm especially moved by your point that at. HBS. As a community, we, didn't become strong because of copán 19, but, rather the challenges, presented by the pandemic, revealed, just, how strong, our community, has always been so. Thank you both and. Now. It's our honor to introduce our amazing class day student, speaker Claire, Wagner, Claire. Is an MD MBA who, has worked with both public, and private organizations, to. Advance access to medical services and technologies, and under-resourced, settings, Claire. Is also a co-author of, more than 40 publications, and scientific, journals including nature, The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine and then, after graduation she's, planned enjoying the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical, Research Institute. Now. Clear section mates like to describe her as an incredibly thoughtful and intelligent person, as, well as a very inspirational, section, mate mom doctor. In front. Her. Husband, Josh, describes. Claire as someone who simply, makes the world brighter she's. An expert, multitasker. But never, at the expense of deep thoughtfulness, empathy. And compassion. Kicking. It off to you Claire. Thank. You Melanie and Robby and hello, from Boston, we, are all gathered, with our respective, loved ones today these, are my guys right here Josh and Leon hi, everyone and, you're. Gonna hear a lot about the little guy but, I am going to let them go because it is a bad time for his, nap. Congratulations. Everyone. My. Son Leon was, born at the beginning of the fall semester. He. First came to campus with me when he was 5 days old so. Began, Leon's, awakening, into the world. Every. Morning he watched me run through a long checklist, of do not forget items, he. Attended classes and, conferences, and helped me give pitches, in front. Of venture capitalists. Scientists. And in, front of you. For. Him the clicker was just another teething, toy. Leon. Experienced. Normal, that my grandparents. Could have never dreamed of, one. Where his dad had two months, of paternity, leave as a physician, and, one. Where at 8 months pregnant his mom could open a corporate bank account in her name and start, a company with two of her friends at, HBS, I. Think. Leon would be surprised, to discover that. Just. Over a decade before his mom was born someone, like his mom couldn't, get approved, for credit without. A man's signature and. Around. That same time even being pregnant could, have gotten her fired. But. Times change. Generations. Turn. Over and. Normal. Is dynamic. Eleven. Weeks ago Leon's. Normal, changed overnight. Daycare. Music class turned into zoom negotiations. With Moen, Nelson, and Sabinas. Daycare. Story time turned into zoom, pandemic, response meetings. At the Brigham and Women's Hospital with, his death and. For. All of us here today this. Month has been among, the hardest and strangest. Versions. Of reality that we have ever lived through. We. Have all experienced. Losses in so. Many different ways it's. Almost impossible, to, capture. And. Now. We. Gather virtually, to, mark our next chapter together. HBS. Has trained, us to be leaders of positive. Change in the world and. As. Such leaders, new, normals, will be thrust upon us as we are experiencing. Right now and, we. Will have to react and adapt. And respond. As. Leaders. We will also have. The opportunity to define, what normal, is. To. Do this we will need conviction. Resilience. And courage. We. Will also need each other. It. Won't be easy, but. I'm, optimistic and. Let. Me tell you why. In, 2010. I read, the HBS, case about a Rwandan pediatrician. Dr.. Annie Espen aguado. It's. The story of how she transformed. An entire, nation's, healthcare system. Leading. One of history's most, remarkable. Turnarounds. And. This all took place in a country that much of the world bet against, after, the 1994. Genocide. Barely. Any money was flowing in and so-called. Pundits, even wrote that it was so hopeless there, it, wasn't, even worth trying. That. Is, what. Some people thought, was normal for Rwanda. Yet. It is hard to think of a more inaccurate, prediction.
I. Had. The distinct, honor of working with dr. Managua, Howe and her team for several years while she was the Minister of Health and. During. Her time at the helm Rwanda. Recorded, the steepest, declines, in child mortality ever. To occur anywhere, in the, world. The. Government led a GDP, comeback, unprecedented. In the region maybe, even worldwide and. During. The past decade, over 1 million people in Rwanda have, been lifted out of poverty. This. Isn't, magic, this. Isn't luck. This, is realizing. That blazing. A path forward, means. Not being afraid to, challenge what, was handed to you. To. Reset, normal. One. Evening over a working dinner I asked, dr. Benoit ho where she got her strength, of conviction. She. Told me a story about standing. Up to her teacher in primary, school to, ask why all, the, angels in the storybook were depicted, as white and all the Devils were depicted, as black. She. Recalls telling the teacher, my. Family is black but we, are not the devil. Dr.. Benoit ho looked up from her computer and said, to me Claire. If you. Don't tell the truth no. One will do it for you. Now, as we. All set out into, our tomorrow's. We. Will be placed in situations where. Something, seems off or blatantly. Not rape. We. Will find ourselves questioning. Our roles. What. Truths will, we tell when, no one else is speaking up. The. Diploma from Harvard Business School, which, is, probably. Jammed in a printer somewhere, in Aldrich, that. Diploma, it's. Not only, a symbol of celebration. It. Is also a symbol, of responsibility. We. Are no longer students. We. May be the ones calling the shots, deciding. Go no goes or, even. Investing, billions of dollars into manufacturing, ventilators. Or masks. And. We can remember clay Christensen, who said it best. Decide. What you stand for and then, stand for it all the time. Three. Takeaways follow, for, me. First. Reimagine. Normal I. Was. Terrified, when I first brought Lian to class, despite. Having the professor's, blessing, and Lian being all but invisible under, my sweater I was, so worried, the class would disapprove. But. At the end of the semester you. Surprised me with a book, of letters you had written, saying. What Leon's presence, had meant to you and. How. You were glad to see someone's, whole self in the classroom. And. How. Surprised, you were by how much a newborn sleeps to which I would reply it, does not last. In. Just. These two years I've seen you reimagine normal, in more ways than I can count, and, impact. More, lives than I could possibly know. The. Second, takeaway that follows, is. Have. The courage to make it so. Courage. Is a lesson, we learned at HBS, and not, only from LCA. We. Learned this from each other. From. Watching our classmates, launch apps to help the elderly get groceries during, a pandemic. -, mobilizing, an entire, ecosystem. Of hundreds. Of MBA students, to, volunteer, their expertise, at local businesses and hospitals. -. Establishing, a new supply chain for much needed PPE. And, even. To serving on the frontlines. I've. Seen you raise your voice on, behalf of those who can't. I've. Seen you use your resources to, help those who are lacking. I've. Seen your generosity light. Up people's, lives. To. Say I've been inspired is, an understatement. Finally. As. You. Go forward. Know. That you're not alone. We. Talk a lot about the concept, of lean in as. A woman with a career it. Resonates. But. I'll, tell you something else, what's. Mattered more in the last year is. Having a community, to lean on. Because. Taking a stand for something often. B requires being propped up by someone and. Speaking. Of being propped up I want to thank everybody, who, made this day possible. Dean. Nuria, and all of the faculty and staff who support the MBA program and. A. Special, shout out to section, E my, MD MBA cohort. And. Discussion. Group for T. Of. Course the heroes, are all of you in the audience the. Villages, who have raised us and supported, us through these years of graduate, school and the many, it's proceeding. Thank. You. Class. Of 2020. Reimagine. What, is normal. Have. The courage to make it so and. Know, that, you're not alone. We. Are going, to find normals on the other side of all of this and, soon. I will return to worrying about the little things like whether my son's first word will be Batna and.
When. Leon is a young man I will. Tell him stories about, this time in quarantine. I'll. Tell him how hard it was and how brave. People, had to be all over, the world and. I'll. Get to tell him about you. I'll. Tell them what a class, I got to be part of and, the. Extraordinary, journeys. That. You are all on. I'll. Tell him the story of. How a global pandemic, taught. Us how deeply we need one another. Thank. You so much Claire for that powerful, message, on community, and on courage. And. Now it's. Our pleasure to introduce our distinguished, alumni speakers. This. Year we have not one but, two speakers indeed. Eight amazing one Ellie and that, is because the class of 2020. Is that special. Now. In Didier's HBS, class of 1999, and she, is a managing, partner is, to help consulting, which, works across West Africa to shape agricultural, policy Creek, ventures, and implement, solutions. She. Also has over 25, years of experience in, international development, she's. The founder of leap Africa, an author, of several books and serves a many nonprofit. And Court reports. Meizu. HBS. Class of 2003. Is the, managing partner at Sahel Capital, agribusiness. Managers, Limited which. Manages faff in a private, equity fund that invests in mid-sized agribusinesses. In Nigeria. He has worked for 25, years in corporate finance investment. Banking and private equity and he's, on the board of directors of a range of companies in Nigeria. In. 2009. In Didion, meizu, co-founded. Ace foods, a food. Manufacturing. Company, which sources from over 10,000. Farmers and produces. A range of packaged, food products, for both local, and international, markets. The. Two of them actively, contribute, to educational. And health initiatives through their family foundation, in, Didion, meizu thank. You for being here with us today and for tuning in all the way from Lagos, Nigeria. Congratulations. Class. Of 2020. We. Had hoped to celebrate, this momentous occasion with, you in person, on campus, and right, in front of Baker library we. Join your families, and friends and the HBS faculty, in celebrating, you today, savor. This accomplishment, and the path, that has led you here thank. You as well to the student leadership and the entire planning, committee for this wonderful invitation, we. Especially want to recognize the, Nuria for his commitment to building HBS's. Global, footprint and his, investment, in Africa we. Were thrilled to interact with over 30 HBS, faculty, during the immersion in Niger in Kenya last summer and applaud. The terrific work of, the, HBS, Africa, Research Center Harvard. Has always had a special place in our lives means. When I met at the Harvard African, strands conference, organized. By my dear sister Oona in 1993. 27. Years ago were, both college students I had the Wharton School University, of Pennsylvania, and major at Carnegie, Mellon University were, drawn to each other by, a shared love for the African continent, and a home country, Nigeria, a few, years later were back on campus as students I'm a proud, member of the class of 1999. Section C and meizu. The class of 2003, section, J while, at HBS, were active in a range of clubs the Africa Business Club the Christian Fellowship 8su. And the social enterprise Club and I initiated, the annual Africa business conference, we, understand, that were the first couple to Class D the. Symbolism, of this is not lost on us and would like to recognize all of the HPS couples, both within the current class and, their alumni body who are fighting hard to build thriving relationships. And dispel. The myth that two strong personalities with, dreams cannot. Have fulfilling relationships. And careers. We, have fond memories of the friendships, we build at HBS, and of the amazing, faculty members, professors. Deborah spar and Linda Hill who serve as mentors for me till this day in addition we recognize, can Powell of the ACE 2 Alumni Association and Jeff Arneson, of the Christian Fellowship who, have been pillars of support within the Harvard community for, over 30, years we recognize the important role that professors, play, giving that we both come from academic. Families mine. Who met at University of wisconsin-madison and indeed, is who met at Cornell University in the 1960s, both. Couples cross, racial divides, and shows love they. Soon moved to Nigeria, to start a new life in the 1970s. Together. They built strong homes rooted, in values of integrity, hard. Work service. And patriotism. We. Observed firsthand their sacrifices. To transform, the university systems, and their, passion, to invest in the lives of their students over the past 40, years I am. Also especially grateful to dr. Gloria, Hobbs who'd, not met my parents as students and at, 95, years old still serves as my family's, anchor today, for.
The Parents, grandparents. And family members listening, in and for. Those who could not be here with us today we. Celebrate, you for nurturing raising. And encouraging. These. Incredible, graduates. To. The class of 2020, the. World is facing unprecedented, challenges. We. Have all been affected by the health social, and, economic. Impact of this pandemic the, predictions, of how long it will last and how life will never be the same post kovat 1930. Is, and will be part of our, foreseeable, future there. Will always be twists, and turns in our lives. September. 11th which happened, during the first few weeks of my first year at HBS, came. As a shock to, us all, and upended the world at the time many. Of us did not anticipate, or, plan, for the market crash seven. Years later in 2008. Which. Led to huge job losses, rescinded. Job offers and careers. Prematurely, terminated. We, cannot also plan for the loss of a loved one a severe. Health issue or the, painful, end of a relationship. When. Faced with a crisis, the immediate tendency, is to be overwhelmed, with fear and, to focus on self-preservation at, all costs, however. Crisis, can also present new. Opportunities, for growth and innovation. I'd. Like to share a personal story in. 2007. Four years after my own graduation, from HBS, I had, a life-changing, experience I did not plan for for. Context, I had just spent the previous two years as a, chief financial officer, and on the board of directors of a mobile telecoms, company attempting. A corporate turnaround had a lot of responsibility, was being stretched and growing, professionally, my. Daughter our second, child was also about to be born so, this was an exciting time for me, however. As I, was leaving a dinner party, on a quiet evening I walked. Into a group still in a car our. Shot in my knee and nearly, died, it. Hit me then as I lay, on the ground with. A man standing over me with a gun that. My title, degrees. And whatever, was, in my bank account did, not matter I could. Not take my accomplishments. With me, over. The next nine months I went through two major surgeries in Chicago, and a difficult, physical, therapy at. One point I thought I'll lose my leg I slipped. Into depression, because I thought for sure that I would never be able to walk again, I literally. Tried to make it through each day, during. This time my faith helped to pull me through in the, words from Jeremiah 29, for. I know the, plans I, have for you plans to prosper you, plans. To give you hope and, a, future. Families. And friends also made a difference, in, didi her siblings, my. Siblings, were remarkable. And provided, emotional, supports a lot. Of friends also reached out during, this time I remember. One friend in particular from, high school Musa Mora who. Was living in France at the time he. Arranged, to have a bottle, of champagne delivered, to me in Chicago with. A note we. Just had a few simple words a little. Gift from, me for you to only open when. You start walking again, received. At a time I did not believe I ever would. Thankfully. I opened that bottle six months later I was. Able to walk without a limp after one year and four. Years after that was able to go jogging without. Painkillers and, the. Past seven years have been part of an incredible, close knit running group in Nigeria I have, even dragged my son on a few of those runs over the years as. A family, we've learned how to find opportunity. And hope in times of great change and uncertainty. My. Life was also deeply, affected, by a personal, crisis, I was, nine months pregnant at the time of maces injury and we, also had a three-year-old son having. To care for my husband, and then a new baby when she eventually arrived, was tough then. On his road to full recovery Mesa, decided, he needed a new professional, experience, in a different country and we moved to Senegal, where he joined a start-up private, equity firm it. Was quite unsettling, to leave a very public role as the founder of a thriving nonprofit, organization, me Africa, which, had gana tremendous, goodwill a few awards, and front, page magazine covers, and essentially. Began again in a new country where, I did not speak the language and had no support network, I updated, my resume and sends it out to at least 20 companies in Senegal, I waited, for a few months and only got one call back when, the recruiter, heard my voice and my limited, French he cut short the conversation, I was, hurt and confused.
2008. Was the height of the global food crisis, and this, hit Senegal and many merging, economies given. Their dependency. On imported food, with. Each passing day I gained, greater appreciation about, the distortions, in the global food ecosystem, and the, untapped opportunities. In Africa's, agriculture, sector I decided. To reengage, with my favorite subject in high school agriculture, through. A new friend from church I was, connected, to the unique opportunity, to develop aux armes West Africa strategy, this. Word and subsequent. Other consulting, projects with governments international, development, organizations, and private. Companies bird Sahel consulting, which I currently runs a day in. 2009, mins, when I decided to start our own agribusiness, ACE foods, to provide nutritious, food source, locally, thereby, displacing, imports and transforming. The lives of farmers a few, years later through the visionary, work of dr. Ikuma additional. Then the Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria and now, the president, of the African Development Bank and innovative. Agriculture, focused private equity. Fund was born and Sahel. Was selected, as the fund manager giving, rice the Sahel capital, which Mason runs, we. Are both driven by, the passion to, transform, the agriculture, sector in Africa, to, contribute, to a flourishing, sustainable. And just, food ecosystem, which leverages our tech and digital. Innovations. Driven, by Africa's, vibrant, entrepreneurs, to ensure that the continent, nourishes, itself and the, world we. Have only scratched the surface of the work in food agriculture. And nutrition landscape. 800. Million people worldwide are food insecure and, this. Was the case before, Cove in 19 News numbers, are expected to dramatically, increase over, the next few weeks in, fact this, pandemic, has revealed that food security is a critical, component of any health intervention, required for human survival, food, is medicine. Yes. Crises, are real and we can only expect more linked to climate change and future. Economic, and health shocks, however. From, our experiences. Since graduation, in dealing, with crisis, would like to share a few critical insights, with you the class of 2020, from, the University of Life first. Build, your tenacity, and courage muscles. Regardless. Of how bleak the world looks at the moment or how radically, may have had to change or stall your plans have, confidence, that their lessons in this experience, and that you have the tenacity and, capacity. To surmount, all obstacles, and emerge, stronger and more aligned with your life's purpose we, know your faith your, support network and. Dig deep, for the strength to pull through, second. Find your life's purpose class, of 2020, each of you has a unique purpose, in life and is called by God to play a critical role in positively. Impacting, your sphere of influence this, goes beyond what the world defines a success, beyond, titles, such as president, CEO, Forbes, list rankings, board, seats two years after you've gone what mark would you have left on this earth consider. What brings you joy what, makes you angry and what, you're willing to do for free search, within yourself and continue to search until you find that cause that you are uniquely qualified to address driven, by your passions. Experiences. And skills, when, you walk in purpose work is pure joy you are excited, to wake up in the morning knowing that you're doing exactly what you were born to do now, given the health economic. And social crisis, that all our countries face we need you to walk in your purpose and generate. Innovative solutions. To climate change, poverty. Gender, inequity, the global burden of disease the, education, crisis, malnutrition. And many, other pressing issues perhaps, building, companies, or engaging in policymaking, as you do so always, considering, the generational, impact of the decisions, you take today third.
Define. Your values, and stick to them your, success early life can be destructive, if you have not clearly, defined, your values who, didn't integrity, and humility, character. Definitely has a currency, if people, can account in you because they can trust you they. Will invest, in you support. You and call, you to serve as a trusted, advisor and board member remain. Humble as you change lives and freely. Share the credit with others this, not only builds trust but enables a broader group of people to have ownership in your vision, and eventually, to lead the movement themselves. Free. You up to take on the next challenge for. Build. A dedicated support network, invest. In deepening your relationships, with your family members, and friends forgive. More easily show gratitude lavishly. Be. That friend that sends a few words to someone when they need it the most actively. Seek out mentors individuals. Who could provide you with advice and support through, the University of Life crits, people, who can lovingly, correct, you and set, you straight and, accountability. And prayer partners to support you through this journey I have, been fortunate to have the same prayer and accountability. Partners from, my time at HPS and they have been an incredible, source of encouragement and support. V. Live, your life with open hands when you open your hands you position yourself to give and also receive we, prepare to give your time insights. Knowledge, and resources, to others given. Opens your hearts to the needs of the world and also, takes your eyes off your, own lack use, your talents, time, and treasure, to, improve the lives of other people and when, you you are in a position to make decisions always. Think, of the people who are not in the room and make sure to speak up with boldness, mentor. The younger generation, contribute, new knowledge and insights in, your area of expertise, and give, strategically. However. Also be prepared to ask for help when you need it especially if. You choose to embark on the journey of building a marriage. And Parenthood, your, vulnerability, makes you human and does, not detract for, in any way from, your self-worth. HBS. Class of 2020, no, one will ever forget this year not, just because of the pandemic but, because of how humanity, and, members. Of the class of 2020, of the, Harvard Business School, were able to rise up to this challenge an EVO, proverb, States melody. Cassia Monte, key which, translates. Disasters. Helped to sift out the resilience. Resourceful. And the brave class. Of 2020, you are resilient, resourceful. And brave your, tenacity, courage. Purpose. Values. Relationships. And, heart, of service, will, set you apart we. Needed to push boundaries, as tough, questions, innovate.
Disrupt, Redesign, rebuild and, transform, companies. Communities, and countries. Congratulations. Once again class, of 2020, your. University, of life starts, a day and we, are rooting for you to soar and leave. A legacy god. Bless you all. Wow. Thank. You both for your inspirational. Message your, reminder to always be courageous and tenacious. Find. Your life purpose and, always, define your values and with. That we are closing out the first session of today's graduation. However. Before. We wrap we. Would like to thank all of our faculty and recognize. The four recipients, of this year's faculty, Teaching, Award the. Recipients, are selected, by our class, and the award is given to the two first year and the two second, air presses, in. Pact. On the class of 2020, a student experience. It's. Our great pleasure to announce that these four recipients, our professors, Kristin Mugford, sophist. Reinhardt, Joshua. Margolis, and ting, Jiang thank you. All for your incredible dedication the, class of 2020. Very much appreciates, it. As. We conclude this year's class day ceremony there are several individuals, who must be thing. Thank. You Gabby and Connor for your reflections, on what's needed to build strong communities and, for, your tireless, dedication, to, serving our class, Thank. You Claire for reminding us the importance, of courage and thank. You of course to our distinguished, speakers for, all of your time which was a lot of time, consideration. And wisdom. We. Would also like to thank the broader class State Committee which. Consists, of the 10 amazing. Section. Presidents here at HBS as well. As several, other very important, key staff members those. Include Mike Murphy Kelly. Diamond, Susan. Young and Samuel, Adama we. Thank you so much for the countless hours that you put into this event because. We realized that we are in the midst of a global pandemic but, still you want me to happen we. Would also like to thank the incredible HBS, media services team who, was directly, responsible for producing this event and has also been incredibly instrumental and, facilitating, our online learning this entire year, thank, you so much, will. Now have a break before, signing back in for the Harvard diploma ceremony. Thank. You so much everyone and congratulations. Congratulations. Class of 2020. Congratulations. On taking risks. Congratulations. On finding your, hidden strikes. Congratulations. On rising two challenges, congratulations. On overcoming hardship. Congratulations. From breaking. Barriers. Congratulations. On enduring. Sleepless, nights congratulations. On pushing your limits you've. Made exciting, discoveries, you. Have found lifelong. Friends. Congratulations. To the best class ever we, tip our caps to you we, need you to be compassionate, we. Need you to, do. We. Need you to grave the unknown and go for it we need you to accept failure we. Need you to, change history we, need you to be strong, we. Need you to lead courageously. Go, be the citizen leaders who others deserve you, can together build, a more just and, brighter future, you can be brave you, can be a risk-taker, you can make a difference, you can challenge, conventions. You can be an inspiration you. Can save lives we. Know that, you will succeed. Congratulations. Class of 2020, congratulations. Class of 2020. Congratulations. Class of 2020, graduation, good luck and stay strong go out into the world and make a difference leave the world a lot better than you found it we can and we must change. The world. Congratulations. Harvard, graduates. Congratulations. Members, the Harvard class of 2020. Within. The hour you will finally take your place at, the head of what Ralph Waldo Emerson Harvard.
Class Of 1821. Called. That, long, winding, train, reaching, back into eternity. A procession. Of alumni, who, have helped to improve the lot of humanity, now. For close to 400, years, I'm. Sure you've imagined, this moment for quite some time but. Let's face it it's. Far different than any of us could have predicted when, this semester, began but. There are actually some. Upsides to this kind of celebration for. Example. Everyone. You loved and everyone. Who loves you can, actually attend no. Tickets are required. No. Scrambling, for good seats in Harvard, Yard early. This morning and none. Of you had to worry about where. You were gonna Park on this. Most, momentous. Of days. Those. Loved ones who've once again become your housemates, and your roommates yet, to give you a big hug, literally. As your, degrees are conferred and just, think you're. The first class, in the 384, year history of Harvard that, can actually say that and I. Also can, guarantee that there. Will be no rain today. Two. Months of pandemic, cannot be allowed to overshadow, your years of hard work your. Many late nights and, early mornings. Your. Countless, personal. Pep talks and let's face it we, all do them that. Turn self doubt into. Self, determination. Faced. With obstacles each. Of you mustered your courage set. Your sights and, overcame. The insurmountable, you. Expanded, your understanding. Of who you are and what you can do and you discovered. The truth about yourself. A Veritas. Worth, pursuing, if, there ever was one. But. You did not get to this moment in time on your own the. People who are sitting with you today in. Many cases, literally, sacrificed. So. That you could be here. So I want you to take a moment and turn, to them now and say, thank you thank. You for helping to make you the people that you are thank. You for, helping you to see, this. Day actually. Come to pass, go. Ahead take, your time give. Them a big hug and a kiss they. Deserve it. To, all the parents siblings friends, and loved ones whoever. They're, with you on, behalf of all of us at Harvard thank. You for all you've done to help make this day possible, thank. You for entrusting, these. Remarkable. Graduates, to us it's. Been our privilege to teach them to get to know them and also, to learn from them their, future is very bright and we, are very proud of them - to. The class of 2020, today. Is about you. Celebrate. Your achievements. Savor. Your successes, rest. Even. For a day upon. Your laurels but. Only for a day because. Tomorrow. Is about, everyone, else, how. Will you use your gifts in your Harvard education to, make the world a better place for others, how. Will you help to ensure that others. Have, opportunities. Similar. To those that you've enjoyed and how. Will you create a future in which all people are equipped to do their best work and to, be their, best selves. Humanity. Needs people who are willing to devote themselves to asking, questions hard. Questions. Sometimes. Even. Uncomfortable, questions. People. Who are willing to work hard to, perfect this imperfect. World that, we inhabit, people. Who care more about others than. About themselves. You. Are those people and when, we gather in person, sometime later, to. Celebrate your graduation when. We have a chance to relish, all the pomp and circumstance in. One, another's company. That we cannot do today I will. Want to know how you are helping to improve the lot of humanity, where. You've been and where, you think you're, going. Harvard. As it turns out does. Not pull the long and winding train, behind it know. That. Long and winding train, which you've now joined, pushes. Harvard in the, entire world into, the future I look. Forward to the day when. Emerson's, vision, comes to life for, us all when. We can all. Again be together until. Then. Congratulations. To members of the class of 2020, we. Are so proud of each and every one of you you. Have, accomplished, great things you're. Gonna accomplish, even. More, good. Luck to each and every one of you and Godspeed. Now. We'll hear from a pair of students who've, been selected, to deliver this, year's English. Orations. Hailing. From Leverett house sociology. Concentrator, michael phillips will. Be our undergraduate, speaker. Our. Graduate, speaker, sano, Rose is. A member of the Harvard College class, of 2012. And this. Year will receive her MD degree from, the Harvard MIT, program, in health sciences and technology. Freshman. Year when, I was launched into another universe my. Only grounding, point was the gravitational. Pull of a question, will. Harvard change me that. Question mingled, with the heartfelt gifts and departing, words of my parents my, mom was placing a set of keys around my neck each, key engraved with a word believed.
Fearless. And inspired. My. Dad said I've, always imagined, life for you like a canvas and, I hope to provide one big enough for you to imagine new possibilities, I'm. Proud to see Harvard become your canvas, minutes. Later I walked into my dorm room and on my desk I found a list of alumni that held the keys to that room before me the, first name I read was Henry David Thoreau the prophetic essayist, and abolitionist, it, was a glimpse into the greatness of what this surreal world was, capable of maybe. I thought it, just might change me for the better perhaps. You had a similar experience on, moving day but, the chronicle of what we could become predates. That moment, when, the class of 2020 was still scattered across the world our first connection came from a story that we heard from TV, punchlines, to political institutions. The name Harvard, reverberating. Across the canyons of culture with an infinite, echo it permeated. The boundaries of class. Country, and continent. Like. Kids reading a bedtime story we inserted, ourselves, into this narrative arc of a, galaxy of greatness and in, 2016. We converted those dreams at the essays and traded, them for tickets to the new frontier, we, landed on campus eager to perform our own superhuman. Feats from. Pulling all-nighters in, Lemont basement, to, breaking the laws of the universe with, great inflation the, more we progressed the more we pursued freshman. Year we spent our energy writing visooli scribbled, applications, to social orgs and sophomore. Year we exchanged, our space suits for business suits so we could rush, to networking events though, with every superhuman, attempt, some. Shortcomings, were revealed. By. Junior year many of us remained agitated. By, the persistent, presence of imposter, syndrome it felt. Like the incessant, pain of a paper cut or. Worse, than that, the. Place that we had imagined, as kids a place defined, by the pursuit of passion, became troubled, by, the fear of rejection, our. Community, of collaboration. Converted, to one of crippling, comparision, suddenly, our, aspirations. To pursue progress, were. Limited by our desperation, to preserve status. We. Began believing, that our purpose lay, in our importance, but. We forfeited, our power we. Saw our galaxy of greatness stripped, of the light of possibility. Subdued. By the darkness, of self-doubt, and at, that confusing, juncture many were asking, themselves is this all I, really. Came to Harvard to. Become. But. What if we opened the door to a different reality. What. If we already have, the, keys. The. First key from my mom said. Belief. Could. She have been asking, us to believe that we, never.
Really Came to Harvard to acquire accolades, but that, success is second, rate to soul saved and lives made better, the. Second key said fearless, does, she know that the path the purpose might be unpopular. But. If we clung to that fear of rejection we, might fail to offer the world what was ours to give, the. Last key said inspire, might. See heaviness, that if we did not become leaders of sacrifice, we, would become leaders of selfishness, but, we, would be leaders either way when. My dad said Harvard, is your canvas was, he not giving us the confidence to emerge from the college and the Kennedy School and the Business School in the Divinity School and the Design School in the law school the, medical school the education school the extension school the dental school and every, other school at Harvard, painting. Portraits with our presence, as a community. Of artists, and not imitators. Of key, makers and not gatekeepers. As I. Stand here today my. Answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes, and. If. Yours is too then. We can leave our galaxy, of greatness and land back on earth with, such an unyielding collision, that the paradigms, of broken, systems, and mediocre standards. Might splatter like gas and dust in a supernova. In. The. Midst of this historic. Global, pandemic. This. Message carries more weight than it ever has before. Use. Our powers, for. Good. That. By those deeds we might demonstrate that our gifts are not, a solemn, path to importance, but, a promise for. Another person. Harvard. Will change, you. But. Let it continue to change you. Let. It make you keenly, sensitive to, injustice. Let. It make you more empathetic, to, struggle. Let. It embolden you to make change. Let. It make you all of these things because to become anything else. Would. Be to forfeit, any meaning, in being. A Harvard, graduate. We. Were fortunate to fly high enough that we might grab the moral arc of the universe itself. May. We Bend, it in the. Right direction. When. Beloved. Harvard, professor, IO Wilson, was 7 he. Got a fishbone, stuck in, his eyeball. After. That he couldn't see things far away so. He decided to look at small, things closely. Gazing. Into a microscope. Edie fell in love with ants. After. Decades, studying them, he explained, that every, species even. An ant. Represents. An evolutionary. Journey of 3.9. Billion, years that. Fishbone. Forced, Edie to see the world from a new perspective. Professor. Wilson's, story, mirrors. The phenomenon, he spent his life studying. Evolution. I studied. Evolution in lab during my PhD. Evolution. Is driven by, challenges. Causing, adaptations. Challenged. With tall trees giraffes.
Evolved, Long necks. Challenged. With hard seeds birds. Evolved, tough beaks, through. A series, of environmental. Challenges, evolution. Transformed. Life from, a wriggling, RNA, molecule, to. A diverse, human society. Outside. My, lab I saw, that challenges. Are the building blocks of not only biological. Adaptations, but, also personal. Evolution I learned. This from my grandfather, dr., Abdul, Rauf, his. Story began as an orphan in India struggling. For food and shelter in. Hopes. Of a scholarship, he, studied, under streetlights. Swarming. With bugs he. Finally won a scholarship to, Columbia University, where. He earned a PhD, he. Became a teacher of children than, a principal, than, a teacher of teachers. My. Grandfather's, mission evolved, from early challenges. Education. Gave him freedom, so he became an educator. Hungry. In childhood, he provided, food for his students. Homeless. In his village he housed, people, under his own roof and dependent. On scholarships. He, funded, scholarships, for students in need in. These ways from, so simple, a beginning my. Grandfather's, life evolved. A mission, over, 40, years he, built schools, developed. Curricula, and trained, teachers in Bhutan. Of Ghana, ston Kenya, and India, he. Retired as a director, of UNESCO, having. Educated, thousands. He. Dedicated the last chapter. Of his life to, educating, just, to, my. Brother and me. It. Was not his Ivy, League degree, but his experience, at the bottom, of society that, propelled, him. My. Grandfather, and professor. Wilson teach, us that our challenges. Helped us develop our strengths, what. Professor Wilson lost in sight he. Gained in vision. My. Grandfather, powerless. In youth spent. His life empowering. Others. Fellow. Graduates. 2020. Has gotten off to a very, rough start. Illness. Isolation. And insecurities, weigh on all of us. Coronavirus. Has also unmasked. Deep troubles, in our societies. Facing. Patients, who couldn't breathe we. Medical, students had to share ventilators. And ration, oxygen, among them, public. Health students, witnessed the difficulty, of mobilizing, medical, resources, due, to politics. Inadequate. Planning and inconsistent. Public education. Business. Students, saw how brittle our economy, is when confronting, crisis, especially. For the most vulnerable among us the, hourly workers, the, homeless, The Forgotten in. Times. Like these we. Can remember that the greater the adversity. The, greater the need for evolution.
On All, scales from, the individual, to, the nation and historic. Times have, inspired, historic. Innovations. During. The Great Plague. Isolated. In quarantine. Isaac. Newton discovered gravity, optical. Physics and calculus. After. World War two in, a Harvard commencement speech, George. Marshall announced the Marshall Plan lifting. Millions out of poverty, we. Are, once, again at a challenging. Moment, but. Let us remember that challenges. Inspire. Evolution. An evolution. That Harvard, graduates, can direct, we. Studied law engineering history. Medicine. Divinity, this. Pandemic, has uncovered, the world's needs how. Can we adapt to serve our communities, or future generations. This. Is our opportunity, to evolve, ourselves. From. Students, of Arts and Sciences, to drivers. Of social progress and innovation. My. Grandfather, told me make, a plan to change the world and do not rest until you achieve it, it's. Now when, we're at our lowest, points. That, we look internally, develop. Our strengths, and gain, the vision, that may lead us to our highest, points, in the future, so. Graduates, let. Us turn this disruption, into. Our vision, and this. Challenge, into. Our evolution. Thank. You Michael, and Sanne for those inspiring speeches. As. Provost, I am privileged, to introduce a, legendary. Harvard, alumnus whose. Life's work bears out the words of another, superlative. Cellist, Pablo. Casals. Music. Is the. Divine way to. Tell beautiful, poetic things, to, the heart. We. Welcome a musician, whose, artistry. Is surpassed, only by his, humanity. My. Fellow graduate, from, the Harvard College class, of. 1976. The. Incomparable, yo-yo. Ma. Hello. I'm yo-yo ma class of 76, and, I want to wish all. The graduates. From. The college and across, all the schools at, Harvard. For. The. Class of 2020. Congratulations. Thank. You yo yo for that deeply, moving piece. Mr.. President. Members. Of the governing boards I, now. Invite, the deans to, present the candidates, for degrees to be conferred, this day by, Harvard University I.
Present. The degree candidates. From the Graduate, School of Arts, and Sciences, and welcome. You to the ancient, and universal, company. Of scholars, I present. The degree candidates, from the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and, Applied Sciences. They. Stand ready to address societal, challenges, through. Foundational, science with, translational, impact I, present. The, degree candidates. From the Harvard, Extension school and. Welcome. You to the company of educated. Individuals. I present. The degree candidates, from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine who. Are well-prepared to pursue, a demanding. Branch of medicine, I, present. To you the degree candidates, from Harvard Medical School, who. Stand ready to engage in an honourable and merciful, calling, I present. The degree candidates, from Harvard Divinity School and, wish, you well and helping shape the shared values, of the, broader society, I present. The degree candidates, from, Harvard, Law School who. Are well prepared to, shape and apply. Those. Wise restraints. That make, us free I present. The degree candidates, from Harvard, Business School who. Stand ready to lead people in enterprises, that. Make a difference in the world I present. The degree candidates, from the Harvard Graduate School of Design who, share a dedication, to, designs. Role in enhancin