On a gloriously sunny Saturday morning, Janet Robinson, former CEO of the New York Times Company, stood in the Dimple and urged the Class of 2012 to pursue their goals with gusto. Destiny doesn’t just happen; instead, it is created by a lifetime of choices, and it is yours to design, she said during Wheaton’s 177th Commencement ceremony on May 19.
“It is important to remember that life is not just about chance, it is about choice. Chance is what the world brings to you, but choice is what you bring to the world. Do not leave your journey to chance. … Choose to do whatever it is that you love, and do it enthusiastically, relentlessly and unapologetically.”
“The best decisions I have ever made have been the consequence of choosing to follow my passion,” she told the 404 members of the class. “In doing so, I have found tremendous fulfillment, happiness and the sense that I have contributed in a small way to the lives of others. … My sincere wish for you on this very special day is that you will always choose to lead lives of joy, of purpose, and of service.”
During Commencement, President Ronald A. Crutcher presented Robinson with the degree of Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, as well as honorary degrees to Deborah Haigh Dluhy ’62, who became the first woman to serve as dean of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and was deputy director of the museum during her 32-year career at the MFA, and to Barbara Jensky Kovensky ’67, president of Experchem Laboratories, a pharmaceutical and natural health products testing company in Toronto.
In his remarks, Crutcher highlighted the accomplishments of the students, including contributing to education and arts programs in communities across the United States and around the world; winning a record number of Fulbright Scholarships (10) and two Watson Fellowships; receiving many job offers; and gaining entry to top graduate schools. “In so many ways, Class of 2012, you are changing Wheaton and the world for the better,” he told them.
Online: Transcript of keynote speech, photos, video
Photos by Keith Nordstrom and Nicki Pardo