Throughout their years at Clark University, the Class of 2023 has performed at the iconic Carnegie Hall; brought home two divisional championships in the National Esports Collegiate Conference finals; released a documentary film highlighting the values and voices of Brazilian immigrant communities in Massachusetts; and used of GIS technology to aid recovery efforts following the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
President David B. Fithian ’87 listed these accomplishments at the 119th Commencement ceremony, where 1,300 students received degrees. The graduating class can be characterized by its resilience — students adapted to a new style of learning during the pandemic.
Undergraduate student speaker Glory Phipps ’23, a philosophy major, compared her class’s journey to that of a rose growing from concrete, an analogy inspired by a poem written by the late rapper Tupac Shakur.
“We made it through by focusing on our passions. We fought for issues we believed in. We began to use our voices for the greater good,” said Phipps. “We blossomed into leaders. We created a new culture that encourages community and care across all groups and walks of life. We became the rose that grew from concrete.”
On this episode of Challenge. Change., hear a recap of the May 21 ceremony, including remarks from Fithian, Phipps, graduate student speaker Idriss Laouali Abdou, MBA ’23, and commencement speaker Robert D. Putnam, the Malkin Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government and a renowned author.
Challenge. Change. is produced by Andrew Hart and Melissa Hanson for Clark University. Listen and subscribe on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Find other episodes wherever you listen to podcasts.