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University of Denver Celebrates 2019 Summer Commencement

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Theresa Ahrens

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2019 Summer Commencement

Hamilton Gymnasium was bustling with excitement as friends and family gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of 448 undergraduates, graduates and doctoral students at the University of Denver’s Summer Commencement Ceremony Saturday, Aug. 17. Of the graduates, 123 are veterans, active-duty service members and reservists.

As the band quieted down, Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Corinne Lengsfeld took to the stage to welcome loved ones to the completion of the University’s 155th academic year, before welcoming DU’s 19th Chancellor Jeremy Haefner to the podium.

This ceremony marks a significant transition,” said Haefner as he addressed the graduates during his first commencement speech as chancellor. “From here, each of your paths will differ in ways perhaps big and small but, on your unique paths, I hope each of you finds a meaningful sense of purpose and work that fulfills you.”

During her address to the class of 2019, Karen Riley, dean of the Morgridge College of Education made sure to note, “Education is more than a pathway to a job.”  When critics are questioning if the cost of higher education is worth it, Riley says that, “current societal challenges require us to be lifelong learners and habitual innovators…and to be brave in your pursuits.”

In closing, she encouraged the graduates to find their passion and maintain it. “It may be in the field that you have chosen or it may be something completely new. Passion eliminates the idea of a job and replaces it with an identity. It is not only what you do, but who you are.”

As the ceremony ended, Haefner left the graduates with a few last words.

I encourage you to go forth with curiosity, creativity and connection. I believe it is these three traits that DU students so often exemplify and which set us apart.”

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