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COMMENCEMENT 2016

Eboo Patel addresses Wake Forest graduates

Story by Wake Forest University May 19th, 2016

Commencement

Wake Forest celebrated its 2016 Commencement on Hearn Plaza on May 16, welcoming inter-faith leader Eboo Patel as its speaker. Enjoy the photos below, and if you’re looking for even more photos, please see the Commencement gallery and Baccalaureate gallery on Flickr.

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“Community is the crucible of our education – at Wake Forest, this community has a soul. That soul teaches us to forge friendships across barriers, to find belonging in a class of unlike, yet interdependent, people, that soul also changes our community for the wellbeing of another despite our individual pockets of comfort, and to find meaning in work that is linked to humanity, by humanity, for humanity.” — M. Adam Hammer (’16), student government president


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“Your liberal arts education has given you the eyes to read the road signs along the way, and the ability to change direction when the original plan goes sideways. There is something to be said for reaching the milestones you set for yourself. There’s a lot more involved in re-charting your course when you miss them.” — Eboo Patel, founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core
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“The great irony for all of us here is that what is so absent in our society at large, is what is so abundant at Wake Forest. In this community, our community, we learn the virtues that have diminished in modern life: friendship, honor, prudence, tolerance, and love.” — M. Adam Hammer (’16)
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“There are things machines can’t do, only humans can. These include telling stories, offering comfort, building teams, framing problems, inspiring others. The people most ready to do these very human things are the ones who carry liberal arts thinking deep in their bones. People who have a healthy suspicion of sameness and a knack for finding ideas on the margins and integrating them into the center. People who can take things apart and put them together again, on the fly, in ensemble.” — Eboo Patel
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“In a time sharp of polarization and increasing bellicosity, we’ve been taught empathy; in a time of crumbling institutions, we learn of their propensity to change; in a time of automated messages, we are taught the value of a conversation.” — M. Adam Hammer (’16)
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“As graduates of Wake Forest and keepers of this community, we will go onto this world and recognize the dignity and worth of an all people, regardless of their creed, color, or viewpoint. We will know our neighbors, not just by a passing wave across the hedges, but by a real conversation at the dinner table. And as a generation that prizes individuality, we will choose to build community, not by surrendering what makes us unique, but by celebrating and embracing what binds us together.” — M. Adam Hammer (’16)
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“And for the forces that will define our time, we, the class of 2016, accept the challenge: To be people of Wake Forest and, as John Kennedy asked of us, to be people of our time.” — M. Adam Hammer (’16)
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Footnote: Photos by University Photographer Ken Bennett and Ann Thuy Nguyen (‘17); video by Mike Shaw
Wake Forest University, Wake Forest Road, Winston-Salem, NC, United States