THE CEREMONY WILL NOW COME TO ORDER. GOOD EVENING. I AM PROVOST SUNIL KUMAR. I AM HONORED TO SERVE AS CHIEF MARSHAL FOR
THIS CONVOCATION CEREMONY. AT THIS TIME WE WELCOME TO THE LECTERN JOSHUA
KRACHMAN REPRESENTING THE NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION CORE TEAM. PLEASE WELCOME TWO OF JHU’S A CAPPELLA GROUPS,
THE SIRENS AND THE ALLNIGHTERS, PERFORMING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM. OH SAY, CAN YOU SEE, BY THE DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT
WHAT SO PROUDLY WE HAILED AT THE TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING
WHOSE BROAD STRIPES AND BRIGHT STARS, THROUGH THE PERILOUS FIGHT
O’ER THE RAMPARTS WE WATCHED, WERE SO GALLANTLY STREAMING? AND THE ROCKETS’ RED GLARE, THE BOMBS BURSTING
IN AIR GAVE PROOF THRU THE NIGHT THAT OUR FLAG WAS
STILL THERE. OH SAY, DOES THAT STAR‑SPANGLED BANNER YET
WAVE O’ER THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF
THE BRAVE? PLEASE BE SEATED. HELLO! WELCOME CLASS OF 2023 AND TRANSFER STUDENTS! MY NAME IS JOSHUA KRACHMAN, AND
I’M A JUNIOR HERE MAJORING IN BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING. I AM THE PARENT AND FAMILY PROGRAMS COORDINATOR
FOR THE OFFICE OF ORIENTATION AND FIRST‑YEAR EXPERIENCE. UP UNTIL THIS POINT, I HAVE BEEN IN CONSTANT
COMMUNICATION WITH MOSTLY PARENTS AND FAMILIES, MAKING SURE THAT THEY ALL HAVE FELT COMFORTABLE
DURING THIS HUGE TRANSITION IN THEIR STUDENT’S LIVES. HOWEVER, NOW, I AM HONORED TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK
TO YOU, AND EXTEND MYSELF AS A RESOURCE IF YOU EVER NEED ANYONE TO TALK TO. OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS, THE ORIENTATION
TEAM, YOUR FIRST‑YEAR MENTORS, COUNTLESS FACULTY AND STAFF, AS WELL AS STUDENT VOLUNTEERS
HAVE DEDICATED THOUSANDS OF HOURS OF HARD WORK TO MAKE THIS PAST WEEK POSSIBLE. WE HAVE BEEN SENDING YOU NEWSLETTERS, SCHEDULING
SPEAKERS, PRESENTATIONS AND EVENTS, GUIDING COMPLEX DISCUSSIONS, LEARNING AN UNIMAGINABLE
NUMBER OF ICEBREAKERS ‑‑ . WELCOMING YOU ALL
INTO YOUR NEW CAMPUS HOMES, AND SO MUCH MORE! WE TRULY CANNOT THANK EACH AND EVERY PERSON
ENOUGH FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO YOUR ORIENTATION EXPERIENCE. AS WE REFLECT ON OUR PAST WEEK TOGETHER, MANY
OF YOUR FIRST NIGHTS SPENT ON CAMPUS, MAYBE EVEN THE FIRST TIME YOU HAD EVER SET FOOT
ON CAMPUS, WE COME TOGETHER TO SHARE SOME OF OUR FIRST HOPKINS MEMORIES. ORIENTATION IS NOT ONLY A TIME TO LEARN THE
“INS AND OUTS” OF OUR UNIVERSITY, BUT PERHAPS MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT IS A TIME TO FORM NEW
CONNECTIONS. THESE NEW CONNECTIONS ARE THE INDIVIDUAL THREADS
THAT JOIN TOGETHER TO FORM A TIGHT‑KNIT COMMUNITY. MY HOPE IS THAT THIS PAST WEEK HAS BEEN A
TIME SHARED WITH THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU. I HOPE THAT WHEN YOU LOOK BACK ON YOUR FIRST
FEW DAYS AT HOPKINS, YOU REMEMBER NOT ONLY THE HIGHS AND THE LOWS, BUT ALSO THE PEOPLE
YOU WERE WITH AND THE IMPACT THEY HAD ON YOU. BECAUSE EVERY PERSON IN THIS ROOM TONIGHT
IS HERE FOR YOU. THE FACULTY AND STAFF, YOUR PEERS AND YOUR
MENTORS WILL CHALLENGE AND SUPPORT YOU DURING YOUR TIME HERE AT HOPKINS. YOU MAY FACE OBSTACLES THAT, AT FIRST GLANCE,
SEEM INSURMOUNTABLE. IT IS IN THESE MOMENTS THAT I WELCOME YOU
TO TURN TO A FRIEND, TO A FLOOR‑MATE, TO A PROFESSOR, REALLY, TO ANYBODY, AND SAY THREE
MAGICAL, LIFE‑CHANGING WORDS: “I NEED HELP.” WE HOPE THIS WEEK YOU HAVE LEARNED HOW MANY
PEOPLE ARE IN YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK, AND HOW READY THEY ARE TO BE THERE, TO LISTEN, AND
TO HELP YOU GROW DURING YOUR YEARS HERE. WHILE ORIENTATION IS PACKED FULL OF INFORMATION
AND RESOURCES, WE CANNOT TEACH YOU EVERYTHING THAT YOU WILL NEED TO KNOW IN ORDER TO THRIVE
AT HOPKINS. ASKING FOR HELP DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ARE
WEAK, OR THAT YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO ACHIEVE YOUR OWN SUCCESS. RATHER, ALL IT SAYS IS THAT YOU’D PREFER A
LITTLE COMPANY TO HELP ALONG THE WAY. JOHNS HOPKINS IS AN AMAZING UNIVERSITY, AND
YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE OPPORTUNITIES THAT YOU BOTH STUMBLE ACROSS AND THAT YOU HAVE TO GO
OUT AND CHASE FOR YOURSELF. MY ADVICE TO YOU:
TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY YOU CAN TO USE THIS TIME TO GROW AS A PERSON. ONE FINAL MESSAGE:
YOUR STATUS AS A BLUE JAY WILL STAY WITH YOU FOREVER. BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE, AND DO NOT TRY TO
FIT ANY PARTICULAR MOLD BUT YOUR OWN. I INVITE THE CLASS TO RECALL A LITTLE CALL
BACK THAT SAID NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT YOU WANT TO BE THAT YOU ARE ‑‑
FOREVER A BLUE JAY! GOOOO HOP
ONE MORE TIME! FOREVER. A BLUE JAY! GOOOO HOP! WELCOME TO THE NEST CLASS OF 2023 AND TRANSFER
STUDENTS. AT THIS TIME, IT IS MY HONOR TO INTRODUCE
ASPEN WILLIAMS, THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT. GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO THE BEGINNING
OF YOUR TIME HERE AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY. YEAH, WOO. YOUR ACCEPTANCE AND DECISION TO ATTEND THIS
SCHOOL HAVE PUT YOU ON THE FRONTLINES OF WHAT HUMANITY HAS TO OFFER. I KNOW YOU’VE WORKED DILIGENTLY AND INTELLIGENTLY
TO MAKE IT TO THIS INSTITUTION. AND YOUR HARD WORK HAS PAID OFF BECAUSE YOU
DESERVE TO BE HERE. TODAY, I WANT TO REFLECT ON MY TIME HERE,
AS IT’S DRAWING TO A CLOSE, IN THE HOPE THAT YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THE JOY I EXPERIENCED
AS A UNDERGRADUATE AND SO THAT YOU MAY CONTINUE THE LEGACY OF RELENTLESS AND UNAPOLOGETIC
EXCELLENCE. MY TIME AT HOPKINS HAS PROVIDED COUNTLESS
RESEARCH, NETWORKING, AND CO‑CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES. HAVING HAD THESE EXPERIENCES, I CAN PROMISE
YOU THAT THE MOST VALUABLE OF MOMENTS ARE WELL BEYOND WHAT A GLOSSY BROCHURE WILL EVER
FLAUNT. THE PEOPLE YOU MEET HERE ARE INCREDIBLE BECAUSE
WE AS INDIVIDUALS HAVE DEVOTED OURSELVES TO BE THE GROUNDBREAKERS OF THE NEXT GENERATION. YOUR PEERS ARE EXCELLENT BECAUSE YOU ARE EXCELLENT… AND YOU DESERVE TO BE HERE. YOU ARE NO LONGER JUST A STUDENT BUT PART
OF A LARGER COMMUNITY OF ENGAGED SCHOLARS WHO EXIST IN THIS REALM OF EXCEPTIONALISM. BEING HERE MEANS THAT YOU ARE THE IMMINENT
FUTURE OF SCIENTIFIC INNOVATION, LAW, FINANCE, THOUGHT, AND MEDICINE. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING WHEN I TELL YOU THAT
THE FUTURE LEADERS OF THE WORLD ARE SITTING IN THIS ROOM RIGHT NOW. BEFORE COLLEGE, I NEVER WOULD HAVE IMAGINED
STANDING HERE, WITH YOU TODAY. MY MOTHER DROPPED OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL AT SEVENTEEN
AND MY FATHER NEVER FINISHED HIS FIRST SEMESTER OF UNIVERSITY. BUT LIKE ALL GOOD PARENTS THEY WANTED BETTER
FOR THEIR CHILDREN THAN WHAT THEY HAD GROWING UP. MY MOTHER’S DREAM FOR ME WAS THAT I WOULD
ONE DAY RECEIVE MY HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA. BEING A FIRST‑GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENT,
I’VE HAD TO LEARN AND RELEARN HOW TO NAVIGATE ACADEMIA. AS I STAND IN FRONT OF YOU NOW, POISED TO
GRADUATE FROM ONE OF THE BEST UNIVERSITIES THIS COUNTRY HAS TO OFFER; I WILL ASSURE YOU
THAT THERE IS SPACE HERE FOR YOU. THAT YOU DESERVE TO BE HERE. YOUR HOPKINS EXPERIENCE WILL NURTURE YOUR
EXISTING POTENTIAL. THE YEARS TO COME WILL CHALLENGE YOU IN ORDER
TO PREPARE YOU TO LEAD THE WORLD. THERE ARE BOUNDLESS OPPORTUNITIES AND RESOURCES
HERE FOR YOU. ASK FOR THEM… SEEK THEM OUT… DEMAND THEM IF THEY DO NOT EXIST. YOU ARE ON THE FOREFRONT OF ENACTING CHANGE THE ENERGY AND EXCELLENCE THAT THIS INSTITUTION
EXUDES IS CONSTRUCTED BY YOU. THE HOPKINS COMMUNITY IS MADE BETTER WHEN
YOU EMBRACE THE SPECTRUM OF NATURALLY OCCURRING COLLEGIATE HIGHS AND LOWS. THE POTENTIAL TO MAKE AN IMPACT AND DEFINE
YOUR EXPERIENCE IS WITHIN YOUR GRASP BECAUSE YOU DESERVE TO BE HERE. WELCOME TO JOHNS HOPKINS. IT IS NOW MY PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE BILL STROMBERG,
A 1982 GRADUATE OF THE WHITING SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MEMBER OF THE UNIVERSITY’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES. THANK YOU, ASPEN. AND JOSHUA, JUST TO SHOW EVERYBODY OUT THERE
THAT EVEN OLD FOLKS CAN DO THIS, I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW MANY TIMES I SAID “I NEED HELP” WHEN
I WAS HERE. AND EVERY TIME THAT HELP WAS AVAILABLE TO
ME. SO DON’T BE BASHFUL. ON BEHALF OF THE
BOARD OF TRUSTEES, I AM PLEASED TO WELCOME YOU, THE CLASS OF
2023, AND TRANSFER STUDENTS. I WAS A BLUE JAY FROM THE ’80s. NO TOO LONG AGO. I STILL REMEMBER THE EXCITEMENT AND APPREHENSION
OF BEING NEW HERE. HOWEVER, I CAN CONFIRM THAT YOU KNOW MORE
THAN YOU THINK YOU DO. THINK ABOUT IT. AS SOME OF THE MOST TALENTED STUDENTS IN THE
WORLD, YOU PROBABLY DID RESEARCH ON THIS UNIVERSITY BEFORE YOU CHOSE TO ATTEND ‑‑ SO YOU ALREADY
KNOW SOME TRIVIA ABOUT THE SCHOOL. WE HAVE 27 NOBEL LAUREATES PAST AND PRESENT… WITH THREE AMONG OUR CURRENT FACULTY. OUR RESEARCHERS INVENTED THE FIRST IMPLANTABLE,
RECHARGEABLE PACEMAKER FOR CARDIAC DISORDERS (1972). AND, THIS PAST YEAR, JOHNS HOPKINS BASEBALL
COMPETED FOR THE DIII NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2010 (AS A FORMER
CAPTAIN, I HAD TO DO THE SHOUT OUT!). AND I BET YOU HAVE PROBABLY ALREADY HAD THAT
WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF SAYING “IT’S JOHNS HOPKINS.” NOW, WHILE YOU CALL THIS PLACE HOME, WE ENCOURAGE
YOU TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF ALL IT HAS TO OFFER ‑
ENGAGE WITH THE OUTSTANDING PROFESSORS WHO ARE LEADERS IN THEIR FIELDS;
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE HUNDREDS OF COURSES THAT WILL CHALLENGE AND FASCINATE YOU;
EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE PRESSING GLOBAL AND LOCAL ISSUES AND ENGAGE IN ORIGINAL
RESEARCH; AND, OF COURSE, LEARN FROM ONE ANOTHER. MAKE FRIENDS. BUT PREPARING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IS
ABOUT MORE THAN JUST YOUR ACADEMIC PURSUITS. SO MY MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE FOR YOU
IS TO BE ALL IN WHILE YOU’RE HERE. IF YOU SEE A GAME OF FRISBEE HAPPENING ON
THE BEACH ‑ JOIN IN IF YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO SING A CAPELLA
‑ CHIME IN. IF THERE IS A LECTURE ON SPACE EXPLORATION
‑ SIT IN IF YOU SEE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE YOUR COMMUNITY
‑ PITCH IN AND, IF THERE IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO SEE
CHANGE ‑ LEAN IN. YOU ARE A GROUP WITH BIG AMBITIONS, AND YOU
HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE. AT THE RIGHT TIME IN HISTORY. THERE ARE FEW UNIVERSITIES ON THIS PLANET
THAT CAN BETTER PREPARE YOU TO MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD THAN JOHNS HOPKINS
UNIVERSITY. PRESIDENT DANIELS, YOUR DEANS, AND ALL MY
FELLOW TRUSTEES LOOK FORWARD TO ALL THAT YOU WILL
ACCOMPLISH, NOT JUST WHILE YOU’RE HERE, BUT AFTER YOU GRADUATE AND ALL OF THE WONDERFUL
THINGS YOU’RE GOING TO BRING INTO THIS WORLD. AGAIN, I’M REALLY DELIGHTED TO SPEAK ON BEHALF
OF MY TRUSTEES TO WELCOME YOU TO THE HOPKINS FAMILY AND WISH YOU THE VERY, VERY BEST ON
YOUR HOPKINS JOURNEY. THANK YOU. VICE PROVOST DAVID PHILLIPS WILL NOW PRESENT
THE NEW STUDENTS. ON BEHALF OF THE WHOLE ADMISSIONS STAFF, WELCOME
NEWEST MEMBERS OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS COMMUNITY! WELCOME TO OUR FIRST‑YEAR STUDENTS AND TO
OUR MIGHTY, MIGHTY GROUP OF TRANSFER STUDENTS. YOU COME TO HOPKINS, EACH ONE OF YOU, BRINGING
UNIQUE BACKGROUNDS, IDENTITIES AND EXPERIENCES. I’M SURE YOU HAVE MET SOME OF YOUR NEW CLASSMATES
BUT I WANT TO GIVE YOU A SENSE OF JUST HOW DIVERSE A GROUP YOU ARE:
YOU COME TO US FROM BALTIMORE TO UZBEKISTAN, FROM THE MOST RURAL COMMUNITIES TO THE MOST
URBAN. THERE ARE STUDENTS FROM OVER 40 COUNTRIES
AND 49 STATES AND TERRITORIES. WELL OVER 1000 HIGH SCHOOLS AND 82 COLLEGES
AND UNIVERSITIES ARE REPRESENTED. YOU ARE HUMANISTS, ENGINEERS, SOCIAL SCIENTISTS
AND NATURAL SCIENTISTS. MANY ARE CONTINUING A LONG TRADITION OF HIGHER
EDUCATION WHILE 18% OF YOU ARE BLAZING A TRAIL BY BEING THE FIRST IN YOUR FAMILY TO ATTEND
COLLEGE. YOU COME HERE AS ARTISTS, MUSICIANS, POLITICIANS,
ATHLETES, EXPLORERS, ADVOCATES FOR THINGS LIKE SOCIAL JUSTICE OR THE ENVIRONMENT, TO
NAME JUST A FEW. IN ALL THE DIFFERENT WAYS YOU HAVE EXPRESSED
YOURSELVES THROUGH YOUR INTERESTS AND ACTIVITIES WHAT LEAPT OFF THE PAGES IN ALL OF YOUR APPLICATIONS
AND MADE US TAKE NOTICE WAS THE MOTIVATIONS WE SAW UNDERLYING YOUR INVOLVEMENT. WE SAW A PASSION FOR DISCOVERY AND A STRONG
CONNECTION TO THE WORLD AROUND YOU. YOU PUSHED KNOWLEDGE FURTHER IN AND OUT OF
THE CLASSROOM. YOU ENRICHED PEOPLES’ LIVES THROUGH YOUR ARTISTIC
AND CULTURAL ENDEAVORS. WHERE YOU SAW A VULNERABLE POPULATION OR PEOPLE
IN NEED, YOU GOT INVOLVED TO MAKE THEIR LIVES BETTER. YOU WORKED TO CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR FAMILY. YOU CARED DEEPLY ABOUT YOUR CLASSMATES, YOUR
COMMUNITIES AND THE MOST PRESSING ISSUES FACING THE WORLD. THESE ARE THE QUALITIES THAT MADE YOU RISE
UP OUT OF THE NEARLY 32,000 FIRST‑YEAR AND TRANSFER APPLICATIONS WE RECEIVED THIS YEAR
‑ THE LARGEST AND MOST COMPETITIVE EVER FOR BOTH GROUPS. PASSION FOR DISCOVERY AND THE DESIRE TO MAKE
AN IMPACT ARE A BIG PART OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS ETHOS AND WHAT MAKES THIS ONE OF THE MOST
IMPACTFUL UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD. YOUR VARIED AND UNIQUE EXPRESSION OF THOSE
QUALITIES IS WHAT MAKES US SO EXCITED TO SEE HOW MUCH YOU WILL DEVELOP HERE AND HOW MUCH
YOU ARE GOING TO IMPACT JOHNS HOPKINS. AND IT MAKES ME EXTREMELY PROUD TO PRESENT
YOU OFFICIALLY TO PRESIDENT DANIELS. PRESIDENT DANIELS, WILL YOU PLEASE JOIN ME
AT THE LECTERN? MR. PRESIDENT, I AM PLEASED TO PRESENT TO YOU
THE FIRST‑YEAR STUDENTS WHO MAKE UP THE CLASS OF 2023 AND OUR TRANSFER STUDENTS WHO
ARE MEMBERS OF THE CLASSES OF 2021 AND 2022 ‑ IMPASSIONED IN THEIR PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE,
LEADERS IN THEIR SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES AND A GROUP THAT WILL GREATLY CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOHNS HOPKINS COMMUNITY, BALTIMORE AND THE WORLD. I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING THEIR RISE TO GREATNESS. THANK YOU. THANK YOU, VICE PROVOST PHILLIPS. THANKS, JOSHUA AND ASPEN FOR YOUR WELCOME
AND TO ARCHIPELAGO PROJECT, THE SIRENS AND THE ALLNIGHTERS FOR THEIR GREAT PERFORMANCES. THANKS TO OUR ENTIRE ORIENTATION TEAM FOR
DOING A PHENOMENAL TEAM AND FOR THE TRUSTEE FOR HIS THOUGHTS AND SO MUCH MORE THAT HE
DOES AS A PROUD SON OF JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY. WITH THAT, WITHOUT ANY FURTHER ADO, LET ME
NOW WELCOME THE GREAT CLASS OF 2023 AND ALL OF OUR GREAT TRANSFER STUDENTS TO JOHNS HOPKINS
UNIVERSITY! OKAY. SO HERE YOU ARE. THE FINAL COUNT DOWN TO YOUR FIRST DAY OF
CLASSES. THERE ARE CLASSES THAT DO COMMENCE HERE AT
JOHNS HOPKINS. IT’S A TIME OF GREAT EXCITEMENT AND PERHAPS
A LITTLE TREPIDATION. I WAS THINKING BACK THIS MORNING TO MY TIME
AS AN UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT. AND IF I WANTED TO DESCRIBE THAT TIME, I WOULD
SAY THAT I WAS PROBABLY IN A CONSTANT STATE OF TERRIFIED EXHILARATION. DON’T WORRY. IT PASSES IN ABOUT FOUR YEARS OR SO. YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING WHAT YOUR FIRST ASSIGNMENTS
WILL BE. SOONER OR LATER THE ICEBREAKERS ARE OVER AND
THE COURSES BEGIN. THE FIRST BIG PAPER. THE FIRST EXAM. OR PERHAPS THE MOST DEMANDING, THE FIRST GROUP
PROJECT AND WITH A NEW COHORT, AND WHEN YOUR FATE RESTS IN THE HAND OF THE COLLECTIVE. NO INDIVIDUAL GRADES. IT IS THE GROUP GRADE. AND TONIGHT I WANT TO PUT YOUR MINDS AT EASE. TRUST ME, NO MATTER HOW CHALLENGE, HOW INTIMIDATING
YOUR FIRST ASSIGNMENT COULD BE, IT COULD BE WORSE, MUCH WORSE. CONSIDER THE EXAMPLE OF AN ASSIGNMENT THAT
WAS DUE 50 YEARS AGO THIS PAST SUMMER. IN THAT CASE, THE PROFESSOR OF THE CLASS WAS
NONE OTHER THAN PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY, THE DUE DATE WAS MUCH SOONER THAN ORIGINALLY
ASSIGNED WITH NO POSSIBILITY OF EXTENSION. AND COMPLETING IT WOULD REQUIRE THOUSANDS
OF PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS AND DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS TO WORK
TOGETHER. HERE WAS THE MISSION. 11, 10, 9, IGNITION SEQUENCE START. I BELIEVE THAT THIS NATION SHOULD COMMIT ITSELF
TO ACHIEVING THE GOAL BEFORE THIS DECADE IS OUT OF LANDING A MAN ON THE MOON AND RETURNING
HIM SAFELY TO THE EARTH. THE ASSIGNMENT, OF COURSE, WAS A HISTORIC
MOON LANDING OF JULY 20, 1969, ONE OF HUMANKIND’S MOSTMONUMENTAL FEATS. BUT WHEN PRESIDENT KENNEDY FIRST ISSUED THE
CHALLENGE AND MADE THE SUMMONS EIGHT YEARS EARLIER, SUCCESS WAS FAR FROM A FORE GONE
CONCLUSION. THE UNITED STATES WAS FAILING TO THE SOVIET
UNION AT EACH TURN. PRESIDENT KENNEDY KNEW THE UNITED STATES COULDN’T
WIN THE SPACE RACE BY PLAYING CATCHUP. HE HAD TO CHANGE THE GAME. HE SET AN UNFATHOMABLE GOAL ON AN AMBITIOUS
TIMELINE. LIKE I SAID, NOT AN EASY FIRST YEAR GROUP
PROJECT. SO, AFTER KENNEDY’S BRACING ANNOUNCEMENT,
NASA ANNOUNCED A TIGHT TIMELINE AND PRESENTED A BEWILDERING ARRAY OF QUESTIONS. HOW DO WE TRANSPORT HUMAN BEINGS 240,000 MILES
TO THE MOON? HOW DO WE GET THEM SAFELY ONTO THE LUNAR SURFACE? AND WITHOUT THE SPACE INDUSTRY’S ROCKET PROPELLED
SPACE SUITS. THE FIRST WAS CALLED DIRECT ASCENT. IN THIS SCENARIO A SINGLE ROCKET BLASTS OFF
AND LANDS ON THE MOON. SOUNDS STRAIGHTFORWARD. EXCEPT THAT A TRIP OF 240,000 MILES REQUIRES
AND EXCUSE THE PUN AN ASTRONOMICAL AMOUNT OF FUEL AND A ROCKET LARGE ENOUGH TO CARRY
IT. IMAGINE A CROSS BETWEEN AN EMPIRICAL CRUISER,
THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING, AND A 100‑STORY ELEVATOR TO TAKE ASTRONAUTS TO THE LUNAR SURFACE. ANOTHER IDEA WAS CALLED ORBITITAL RENDEZVOUS. NOW THIS APPROACH HAD THE ADVANTAGE AMONG OTHER THINGS
OF USING SMALLER CRAFT AND REQUIRING LESS FUEL. THE DOWNSIDE WAS THAT THE ASTRONAUTS WOULD
BE REQUIRED TO DETACH AND REATTACH PARTS OF THE SPACECRAFT IN SPACE ALL WHILE TRAVELING
AT MANY MILES PER HOUR. IMAGINE THREE DIMENSIONAL PARALLEL PARKING
AT BREAKNECK SPEED. IT WAS COMPLEX AND NASA DIDN’T HAVE THE MONEY,
THE PEOPLE, OR THE TIME TO PURSUE BOTH. ONE IDEA HAD TO WIN THE DAY AND THE CLOCK
WAS TICKING. SO NASA TASKED THE MOST GIFTED ENGINEERS ON
THE PLANET WITH DETERMINING WHICH APPROACH SHOULD PREVAIL. AND IN MEETING AFTER MEETING, PAPER AFTER
PAPER, AND EQUATION UPON EQUATION, THE VARIOUS CAPS MADE THEIR PITCHES. FROM YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, COLLABORATION IS
SELDOM WITHOUT STRESS. AND AS MONTHS SPED BY AND THE PRESSURES MOUNTED
PASSIONS FLAIRED AND PEOPLE DUG INTO THEIR POSITIONS AND BECAME QUITE ENTRENCHED TO ONE
IDEA OR THE OTHER AND SOME STOPPED LISTENING TO ONE IDEA ALTOGETHER. INCLUDING THE CHIEF OF SPACE PROGRAMS WHO
WAS AN ADVOCATE FOR DIRECT ASCENT. HE SAID I’VE BEEN RIGHT MOST OF LIFE ABOUT
THINGS AND IF YOU’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT RENDEZVOUS ABOUT GOING TO THE MOON, FORGET IT. STRAIGHT TO THE POINT. THESE TYPES OF CONVERSATIONS ARE TYPICALLY
NOT THE TYPE OF CONVERSATION STARTERS AMONG COLLEAGUES THAT WE VALUE AND SEE AS REASONED
DEBATE AND DISCOURSE. NOW, OTHERS AT NASA WERE LESS DUG IN AND USED
THE HEATED DEBATE AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DEEPEN AND REFINE THEIR IDEAS AND MAKE THEM STRONGER. ONE OF THOSE WAS JOHN HOBOLT. THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS HE FACED WITHERING
CRITICISM, EVEN ACCUSATIONS OF FALSIFYING DATA. BUT HE DIDN’T FLINCH. HE KEPT REWORKING HIS CALCULATIONS AND PRESSING
THE GROUP TO THINK MORE EXPANSIVELY. AS HE SAID AT THE TIME, DO WE WANT TO GO TO
THE MOON OR NOT? AND IF SO, WHY DO WE HAVE TO RESTRICT OUR
THINKING TO A NARROW CHANNEL? SLOWLY, BUT SURELY HE BEGAN TO WIN OVER THE
SKEPTICS. AND WHEN THE TIME CAME FOR THE HEADS OF NASA
TO DECIDE ON THE FINAL APPROACH IN ORDER TO MEET THE PRESIDENT’S DEADLINE, THE SCIENTISTS
ARGUED THEIR CASE ONE LAST TIME AND RENDEZVOUS WON THE DAY. TESTING. THE EAGLE HAS LANDED. AND THE REST IS HISTORY. NOW, I THINK I CAN SAFELY PREDICT, THOUGH
NOT WITH COMPLETE CONFIDENCE THAT YOUR FIRST ASSIGNMENT AT HOPKINS WON’T INVOLVE INTERPLANETARY
TRAVEL. I’M NOT SO ASSURED ABOUT THE SECOND. I CAN ONLY PROMISE YOU LIKE THOSE AT NASA,
NOT ONLY THE SPACE SCIENTISTS, BUT THE ENTIRE ORGANIZATION THAT MADE THE MOON LANDING HAPPEN,
YOU ARE JOINING A COMMUNITY WHICH BELIEVES DEEPLY AND PASSIONATELY IN THE POWER OF IDEAS
TO EXPAND THE HORIZONS OF KNOWLEDGE AND TO ADVANCE THE FLOURISHING OF OUR PLANET AND
HUMANKIND. THAT IS WHY YOU,S INDEED WHY ALL OF US, ARE
HERE. AND WE ARE A COMMUNITY THAT UNDERSTANDS THAT
IDEAS DON’T BLOOM IN SOLITARY AND STIFLING DARKNESS, BUT IN THE CLARIFYING AND DAZZLING
SUNLIGHT OF SPIRITED DEBATE AND CONVERSATION. LIKE NASA’S INTREPID ENGINEER, JOHN HOBOLT,
WE HOPE YOU WILL DISCOVER AND CHAMPION IDEAS THAT BRAVELY IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE, SO AT THE
END YOUR POSITIONS AND CONVICTIONS ARE SHARPER AND MORE COMPELLING. WHEN WE DEFINE OUR THINKING TO NARROW CHANNELS,
WE DEADEN OUR CURIOSITY AND UNDERMINE OUR CHANCES TO UNDERSTAND ISSUES IMPORTANT TO
US ALL. THESE ARE NOT MERE PLATITUDES. WE HAVE THE DATA TO SHOW IT. JUST CHECK OUT A STUDY IN THE JOURNAL NATURE. DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS AND EXPERIENCES CREATE
MORE COMPELLING IDEAS. IT IS HARDLY POSSIBLY TO OVERATE THE VALUE
OF SURROUNDING ONESELF WITH THOSE UNLIKE THEMSELVES. THEY ARE THE PRIMARY SOURCE OF PROGRESS. AND SO, MY CALL, OUR CALL, OUR ENTREATY TO
YOU AS YOU ENTER OUR ACADEMIC COMMUNITY IS THIS. THROW YOURSELF ENTIRELY AND WITHOUT RESERVATION
INTO EXPLORING BIG, URGENT COMPLEX QUESTIONS. FIERCELY FIGHT FOR YOUR BELIEFS, BUT ALSO
LISTEN INTENSIVELY AND RESPECTIVELY TO FIERCELY HELD IDEAS OF OTHERS. BE ARCHITECTS OF A CALL‑IN RATHER THAN A
CALL‑OUT CULTURE. ASK HARD QUESTIONS OF YOUR PEERS, YOUR PROFESSORS,
AND YES, EVEN YOUR UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT. BE OPEN TO ANSWERS THAT WILL GUIDE AND SHAPE
YOUR THINKING EVEN AS YOUR PERSPECTIVE STRENGTHENS THE THINKING OF OTHERS. AND KNOW, ABOVE ALL, THAT YOU WILL NOT BE
GOING IT ALONE, BUT IN CONCERT WITH OTHERS WHO SHARE YOUR ASPIRATIONS AND WHO WANT TO
SEE THEM TAKE SOARING FLIGHT. I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT YOU WILL BRING FORWARD
IDEAS AS OUTLANDISH OR EVEN AS IMPOSSIBLE AS THEY MAY FIRST SEEM THAT WILL BE THE ONES
THAT WILL HELP US UNDERSTAND AND IMPROVE OUR WORLD AND THE WORLDS BEYOND TO OUR NEWEST
BLUE JAYS, THE CLASS OF 2023, BON VOYAGE. WE NEED HELP. THANK YOU PRESIDENT DANIELS. PLEASE REMAIN WITH ME AT THE LECTERN FOR THE
CLASS BANNER PRESENTATION. I HAD A SENSE YOU WERE GOING TO ASK ME TO
DO THAT. COOL. I WOULD ALSO ASK TRUSTEE STROMBERG TO JOIN
US. THANK YOU. CLASS BANNERS ARE A JOHNS HOPKINS TRADITION
DATING BACK TO 1881, AND THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ASKED THE MEMBERS OF THE CLASS OF 2023 TO
DESIGN A BANNER THAT SHOWS YOUR CLASS PRIDE. THIS YEAR, MEMBERS OF YOUR CLASS SUBMITTED
BANNER DESIGNS AND THE CLASS OF 2023 VOTED ON ITS FAVORITE DESIGNS AND THE FINAL DECISION
WAS PLACED IN YOUR HANDS. I AM PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE WINNER OF THE
CLASS OF 2023 BANNER WAS DESIGNED BY ANDREA ZHANG. AT THIS TIME, I WOULD LIKE TO CALL ANDREA
TO COME TO THE STAGE TO PRESENT THE BANNER FOR THE CLASS OF 2023. ON BEHALF OF THE CLASS OF 2023, I PRESENT
YOU WITH OUR BANNER TO BE HUNG IN THE EISENHOWER LIBRARY AT JOHNS HOPKINS. THANK YOU ANDREA. I ACCEPT THIS BANNER WITH THE GREATEST ANTICIPATION
OF THE IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTIONS THIS CLASS WILL MAKE ON CAMPUS AND OFF AS STUDENTS AND
MEMBERS OF THE ALUMNI FACULTY. AND WE’RE GOING TO DISPLAY IT HERE ON THE
CAMPUS IN THE EISENHOWER LIBRARY. I NOW TURN THE PROGRAM OVER TO THE TWO DEANS
OF THE KRIEGER AND WHITING SCHOOLS. CAN I HEAR FROM THE KRIEGER STUDENTS PLEASE? NO SO SHABBY. ANYONE HERE FROM WHITING? VERY IMPRESSIVE, INDEED. WELL WELCOME TO YOU ALL, AGAIN. AND NOW I’M GOING TO TURN THE PODIUM OVER
TO THE DEAN OF THE KRIEGER SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES, DEAN WENDLAND. THESE ARE WONDERFUL COLLEAGUES WHO ARE PASSIONATELY
COMMITTED TO UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION AND YOUR CENTRAL ROLE
ON OUR CAMPUS. I’M DELIGHT THAT HAD THAT THEY’RE HERE TO
SPEAK TO YOU. BEVERLY? I THINK WE NEED TO GIVE THE KRIEGER SCHOOL
STUDENTS ANOTHER SHOT AT ANNOUNCING YOURSELVES. LET’S HEAR IT ONE MORE TIME. ALL RIGHT! THAT IS MORE LIKE IT. THANK YOU. GOOD EVENING. MY NAME IS BEVERLY WENDLAND, AND I AM THE
DEAN OF THE KRIEGER SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES. ON BEHALF OF MY COLLEAGUES AND ALL OF OUR
STUDENTS, I WELCOME THE MEMBERS OF THE CLASS OF 2023 AND OUR NEW TRANSFER STUDENTS TO THE
JOHNS HOPKINS FAMILY. WE ARE REALLY, REALLY GLAD THAT YOU ARE HERE. YOU ARE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON AN ADVENTURE‑ONE
OF LEARNING, DISCOVERY, OPPORTUNITY, AND EXPLORATION. DURING YOUR TIME AT HOPKINS, YOU WILL MEET
NEW PEOPLE‑SOME WHO WILL BECOME LIFE‑LONG FRIENDS‑AND YOU WILL ALSO BE EXPOSED TO
NEW IDEAS IN MANY BROAD FIELDS. WHENEVER I HAVE A CHANCE TO SPEAK TO SENIORS
WHO ARE GETTING READY TO GRADUATE, I LIKE TO ASK THEM, “WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO
STUDENTS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT AT HOPKINS?” AND THEY ALMOST ALWAYS SAY THE SAME THING:
GET INVOLVED. THAT DOESN’T JUST MEAN JOINING A CLUB OR AN
INTRAMURAL SPORTS TEAM‑ALTHOUGH I RECOMMEND BOTH OF THOSE THINGS. GETTING INVOLVED MEANS IMMERSING YOURSELVES
IN THE HOPKINS EXPERIENCE IN DIFFERENT WAYS, SUCH AS SIGNING UP FOR A COURSE THAT IS TOTALLY
OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE OR APPLYING FOR A RESEARCH GRANT EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT
NOT GET IT. DON’T BE TIMID ABOUT DISCOVERY. I’M A SCIENTIST, AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT DISCOVERY
USUALLY HAPPENS IN UNEXPECTED PLACES, AND IT ALWAYS INVOLVES TRIAL AND ERROR, BUT FIRST
YOU HAVE TO TRY. I ALSO ENCOURAGE YOU TO IMMERSE YOURSELVES
IN THE BALTIMORE EXPERIENCE. JOHNS HOPKINS IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF BALTIMORE,
AND WE TAKE OUR ROLE AS “GOOD NEIGHBOR” SERIOUSLY. LIKE ANY LARGE AMERICAN CITY, BALTIMORE HAS
ITS CHALLENGES BUT ALSO ITS REWARDS, LIKE VIBRANT ETHNIC NEIGHBORHOODS, A RICH HISTORY,
TREE‑FILLED PARKS AND SPARKLING LAKES, AND OF COURSE, LOTS OF GREAT PLACES TO GET OUR
SIGNATURE CRABCAKE. AND FOR YOU‑OUR NEW STUDENTS‑BALTIMORE
OFFERS SO MUCH OPPORTUNITY. I GUARANTEE THAT WHEN YOU START EXPLORING
BALTIMORE‑ESPECIALLY IF YOU DO IT THROUGH A HOPKINS COURSE OR INITIATIVE, YOU WILL MEET
NEW PEOPLE, HEAR NEW VOICES, AND GAIN NEW PERSPECTIVES. FOR EXAMPLE, YOU CAN APPLY FOR A SUMMER COMMUNITY
IMPACT INTERNSHIP. ONE STUDENT, JACK, WHO IS STARTING HIS JUNIOR
YEAR, SPENT THE SUMMER MONTHS IN ONE OF THESE INTERNSHIPS, WORKING AT A BALTIMORE BOXING
CLUB THAT ENGAGES YOUNG PEOPLE IN A SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT. WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE JACK SAID‑AND
I QUOTE‑”IT’S BEEN SO THOUGHT‑PROVOKING. I’M LEARNING TO BE PART OF A COMMUNITY OF
PEOPLE WHO ARE DISSIMILAR FROM MYSELF, WITH DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS.” JACK TALKS ABOUT HOW HE LEARNED TO HAVE PRODUCTIVE
DIALOGUE WITH PEOPLE HE MIGHT OTHERWISE NEVER HAVE MET. ANOTHER STUDENT, BROOKE, HAD A SUMMER INTERNSHIP
TUTORING AND MENTORING JUVENILES CHARGED AS ADULTS AT A DETENTION CENTER. SHE SAYS “WE TALKED ABOUT THEIR FUTURES, ABOUT
HOPE, AND ABOUT TRANSFORMATION. THE FULFILLMENT I GOT FROM MY WORK IS INDESCRIBABLE,
AND IT CAME FROM THE SIMPLE REALIZATION THAT WITH THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SUPPORT, RESOURCES,
AND DETERMINATION, PEOPLE COULD GO MUCH FURTHER THAN THEY COULD ALONE.” IF A SUMMER INTERNSHIP ISN’T YOUR THING, THERE
ARE OTHER WAYS TO ENGAGE WITH BALTIMORE. WE HAVE THE PRESIDENT’S DAY OF SERVICE NEXT
MONTH, WHERE STUDENTS FAN OUT ACROSS THE CITY AND VOLUNTEER BY PLANTING TREES OR PAINTING
WALLS OR LEADING A NEIGHBORHOOD CLEAN‑UP. YOU CAN GET INVOLVED WITH OUR SNF AGORA INSTITUTE,
WHOSE GOAL IS TO STRENGTHEN CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND INCLUSIVE DIALOGUE. OR PERHAPS YOU WOULD WANT TO BECOME PART OF
OUR 21ST CENTURY CITIES INITIATIVE THAT AIMS TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR PEOPLE
WHO LIVE IN CITIES. BALTIMORE IS A BIG AND WONDROUS CITY, AND
I ENCOURAGE YOU TO POP OUT OF THE SO‑CALLED HOPKINS BUBBLE AND SEE WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT. THE INSIGHT YOU GAIN FROM BALTIMORE AND ITS
RESIDENTS WILL COMPLEMENT THE KNOWLEDGE YOU LEARN IN THE CLASSROOM AND THE LABORATORY,
AND WHEN YOU GRADUATE, YOU WILL BE READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD AND MAKE A TRUE DIFFERENCE. THAT’S THE HOPKINS WAY.
AND NOW, I AM PLEASED TO INTRODUCE MY COLLEAGUE ED SCHLESINGER, THE BENJAMIN T. ROME DEAN
OF THE WHITING SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING. THANK YOU.
AND THANK YOU AND WELCOME TO ALL OF YOU AND WELCOME TO HOPKINS. I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU
RIGHT NOW, AT A TIME WHEN YOU SUDDENLY HAVE FREEDOM TO MAKE YOUR OWN CHOICES AND A WORLD
OF OPPORTUNITIES IN FRONT OF YOU, DO YOU WANT TO TRUST ALGORITHMS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE DECISIONS? WELL, GUESS WHAT… YOU ALREADY DO. WHAT YOU SEE ON INSTAGRAM, WHY CERTAIN COLLEGES
SENT YOU THEIR ADMISSIONS MATERIALS (WHICH IS MAYBE WHY YOU’RE HERE TODAY) AND WHAT YOU
WATCHED ON NETFLIX LAST NIGHT? ALL BROUGHT TO YOU BY ALGORITHMS. IN MANY WAYS, AMAZON KNOWS MORE ABOUT YOU
THAN YOUR BEST FRIEND DOES‑ WELL ENOUGH TO KNOW YOU’RE ABOUT TO RUN OUT
OF TOOTHPASTE… YOU, WE, ARE ALL SO PREDICTABLE. WHICH CAN BE CONVENIENT. PREDICTABILITY SAVES US TIME AND MONEY. SUBSCRIBE & SAVE! AND WHAT’S FAMILIAR IS ALSO COMFORTING. COME TO BALTIMORE AND EAT THE SAME FOODS YOU
DID AT HOME! KNOW WHAT YOUR HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS HAD FOR
DINNER LAST NIGHT‑WITH PHOTOS! CHOOSE CLASSES IN WHICH YOU KNOW YOU’LL EXCEL. BUT PREDICTABILITY IS ALSO LIMITING. RELYING ON YOUR PAST DATA TO MAKE REAL‑LIFE
DECISIONS MEANS YOU’RE PERPETUATING YOUR OWN BIASES. YOU’RE CREATING FILTERS THAT REDUCE YOUR OPTIONS
AND THE CHANCE THAT YOU’LL DISCOVER SOMETHING‑SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE‑NEW AND WONDERFUL. AT A TIME WHEN YOUR LIFE IS DEFINED BY A NEW
DEGREE OF INDEPENDENCE‑ IN A PLACE WHERE YOU’RE MEANT TO BE EXPLORING
NEW INTERESTS AND EVEN CREATING KNOWLEDGE‑ I URGE YOU NOT TO SETTLE FOR PREDICTABILITY. SO, WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE? LETTING RANDOMNESS DETERMINE YOUR LIFE DECISIONS? AND I DON’T MEAN “RANDOM” IN THE WAY IT’S
OFTEN USED TODAY. IN FACT, THAT PARTY YOU WENT TO WASN’T “TOTALLY
RANDOM.” IT WAS AT THE HOME OF SOMEONE IN YOUR CIRCLE
OF FRIENDS, A MILE FROM YOUR HOUSE. WHAT I MEAN IS: ARE YOU WILLING TO TRULY RANDOMIZE
YOUR LIFE? TO NOT RELY ON YOUR PAST BEHAVIORS AND INTERESTS
AND YOUR OLD CIRCLE OF FRIENDS TO DEFINE YOUR OPTIONS AND EXPERIENCES? BE OPEN TO ANYTHING? A FEW YEARS AGO, I HEARD AN INTERVIEW ON NPR
WITH A GUY NAMED MAX HAWKINS. MAX HAD BEEN AN ENGINEER, WORKING AT GOOGLE,
EATING THE FREE FOOD, AND LIFE WAS GOOD. BUT HE WASN’T HAPPY. HE SAID HE FELT TRAPPED IN A LOOP‑THAT HIS
LIFE WAS TOTALLY PREDICTABLE, LIKE HE WAS FOLLOWING A SCRIPT‑
YET, HE COULDN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO REMOVE HIMSELF FROM A LIFE THAT HAD BEEN STRUCTURED
BY HIS OWN DECISIONS, BY HIS OWN PREFERENCES. SO HE APPROACHED THE PROBLEM AS ANY ENGINEER
WOULD. HE BUILT AN APP‑
A RANDOMIZER‑‑ TO RANDOMIZE HIS LIFE. AMONG ITS EARLIEST FUNCTIONS: IT WOULD SEARCH
FACEBOOK AND SELECT, AT RANDOM, AN EVENT NEAR HIM THAT HE WOULD ATTEND…NO MATTER WHAT
IT WAS. A COMMUNITY PANCAKE BREAKFAST, A SOCIALIST
RALLY, CHRISTMAS DINNER AT A STRANGER’S HOUSE…HE DID IT ALL.
AND THESE RANDOM EXPERIENCES MADE HIM FEEL MORE CONNECTED TO THE WORLD. HIS LIFE WAS ENRICHED IN WAYS HE NEVER COULD
HAVE ANTICIPATED. AND I WANT TO PAUSE HERE. I AM NOT, AND I WANT TO MAKE IT VERY CLEAR. I AM NOT RECOMMENDING, AND WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND,
THAT YOU DO WHAT MAX DID, GOING TO RANDOM PLACES WITH RANDOM PEOPLE IS IRRESPONSIBLE
AND RECKLESS NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU LIVE. MAX WAS LUCKY. AND HE DIDN’T RUN INTO TROUBLE. AND THOUGH I SERIOUSLY QUESTION THE WISDOM
OF HIS METHODS, I DO THINK THERE IS AN IMPORTANT TAKE‑AWAY FOR YOU. AS YOU BEGIN THIS NEW CHAPTER IN YOUR LIFE,
YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO FREE YOURSELF FROM YOUR OWN LOOP. AND STRIKE A BALANCE BETWEEN RANDOMNESS AND
PREDICTABILITY. ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF THESE ALGORITHMS. BUT DON’T LET MOMENTUM DEFINE WHO YOU ARE
AND DICTATE WHAT YOU DO. OF COURSE, STICK WITH YOUR TOOTHPASTE BRAND,
IF YOU LIKE IT, BECAUSE SOMETIMES, DOING WHAT’S PREDICTABLE IS ALSO THE BEST OPTION. BUT ALSO JOIN A CLUB THAT IS COMPLETELY UNRELATED
TO ANY ACTIVITY YOU HAVE EVER DONE BEFORE. AND IF ROBOTICS‑OR CREATIVE NONFICTION‑IS
WHAT YOU LOVE, YOU’RE DEFINITELY AT THE RIGHT PLACE AND I URGE YOU TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF
BEING HERE AND DIG IN DEEP…. BUT I ALSO SUGGEST THAT YOU TAKE ONE CLASS
THAT MAKES YOUR PARENTS GASP AND QUESTION WHY THEY SENT YOU HERE. WAITING FOR YOUR NUMBER TO BE CALLED AT THE
WOK IN LEVERING? SAY HI TO THE PERSON IN LINE NEXT TO YOU. IT’S PRETTY SIMPLE AND YOU CAN DO IT. I KNOW YOU’RE ALL SMART, DRIVEN, AND ACCOMPLISHED. AND HOW DO KNOW THIS? WELL, I’VE SEEN THE ADMISSIONS DATA, OF COURSE. AND MY ALGORITHM PREDICTS YOU’LL DO GREAT
THINGS HERE AT HOPKINS. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING WHAT THEY ARE. WELCOME TO JOHNS HOPKINS. AT THIS TIME, I’D LIKE TO WELCOME VICE PROVOST
ALANNA SHANAHAN. HI. SO I’VE GOT SOME GOOD NEWS FOR YOU. THIS CEREMONY OFFICIALLY CONCLUDES NEW STUDENT
ORIENTATION. WELL DONE. WE ARE THRILLED TO WELCOME YOU TO THE BLUE
JAY FAMILY! OUR GOAL THIS WEEK WAS TO EQUIP YOU WITH THE
MOST FUNDAMENTAL TOOLS TO START YOUR JHU CAREERS OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT. WE HOPE THAT YOU’VE MET INTERESTING PEOPLE,
EXPLORED OUR CAMPUS AND OUR CITY, AND ARE READY AND EXCITED FOR YOUR FIRST CLASSES TOMORROW! BUT BE ASSURED THAT THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING. FROM HERE, YOUR HOPKINS EXPERIENCE IS YOURS
TO CREATE. YOU WILL FIND COUNTLESS OPPORTUNITIES TO DEEPEN
YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF YOURSELVES, YOUR PEERS, AND THE WORLD AROUND YOU. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO ENGAGE IN DISCUSSIONS,
ASK QUESTIONS, AND CONNECT WITH CLASSMATES WHO HAVE DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE AND LIFE EXPERIENCE. THESE CONVERSATIONS MAY NOT ALWAYS BE COMFORTABLE
AND ARE VALUABLE LEARNING MOMENTS. WE THRIVE AND GROW AS A COMMUNITY WHEN WE
GRANT EACH OTHER THE FREEDOM TO EXPRESS OURSELVES. OUR FACULTY AND STAFF WILL ALWAYS BE HERE
TO SUPPORT YOU, AND WE HAVE A VARIETY OF PROGRAMS DEDICATED TO OUR STUDENTS’ MENTAL AND PHYSICAL
HEALTH. VICE PROVOST KEVIN SHOLLENBERGER LEADS A GROUP
OF DEDICATED STUDENT AFFAIRS PROFESSIONALS FOCUSED ON YOUR WELL‑BEING, AND I HOPE THAT
YOU WILL FEEL EMPOWERED TO SEEK ASSISTANCE WHEN YOU NEED IT. I HOPE TOO THAT YOU WILL REMEMBER TO BALANCE
THE RIGORS OF YOUR ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE BY TAKING TIME TO REFLECT, RECHARGE, AND ATTEND
TO YOUR PERSONAL WELL‑BEING. AND MOST OF ALL, I HOPE YOU FIND WHAT EXCITES
YOU, THAT YOU FIND COURSES AND ACTIVITIES THAT INSPIRE YOU, AND THAT YOU SEEK OUT EXPERIENCES
BOTH IN AND OUT OF THE CLASSROOM THAT NOT ONLY PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS BUT ALSO REVEAL
OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH. THERE WILL BE MANY PURSUITS TO CHOOSE FROM:
WHETHER HONING YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS IN ONE OF OUR APPROXIMATELY 400 STUDENT GROUPS
EXPLORING THE POLITICAL AND SOCIAL COMPLEXITIES OF BALTIMORE AND OTHER URBAN AREAS THROUGH
OUR CENTER FOR SOCIAL CONCERN PARTICIPATING IN A HACK‑A‑THON TO BRING
A SOFTWARE OR HARDWARE IDEA TO LIFE; OR CONTRIBUTING YOUR VOICE TO THE IDENTITY AND
INCLUSION WORKSHOPS SPONSORED BY THE OFFICE OF MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS OR ONE OF THE MANY
OTHER PROGRAMS OFFERED BY OUR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION OFFICE. WHATEVER PATH YOU CHOOSE, I WISH YOU SUCCESS
ON YOUR JOURNEY. ENJOY ALL THAT YOUR TIME AT HOPKINS HAS TO
OFFER YOU, AND REMEMBER TO TAKE TIME TO REFLECT ON THE THINGS YOU LEARN. WHETHER YOU ARE EMBARKING ON YOUR FIRST YEAR
OF COLLEGE OR HAVE RECENTLY TRANSFERRED TO HOPKINS ‑‑ . THE COMMUNITY THAT YOU HAVE JOINED THIS WEEK
WILL FOREVER BE A PART OF YOUR LIFE AND WE ARE EXCITED TO SHARE IN THIS EXPERIENCE WITH
YOU. EVERYONE, PLEASE STAND AND JOIN ME IN CELEBRATING
OUR NEWEST BLUE JAYS! PLEASE REMAIN STANDING. WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRESENCE HERE TONIGHT
AND WISH ALL OF YOU A GREAT YEAR HERE AT JOHNS HOPKINS. AT THIS TIME, PLEASE JOIN US IN SINGING THE
NEW ADAPTATION OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY ODE. THE WORDS CAN BE FOUND ON THE SCREENS AND
IN YOUR PROGRAM. WE THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING US HERE TODAY
AND WISH EVERYONE THE UTMOST SUCCESS AT JOHNS HOPKINS. I HAVE A COUPLE OF ANNOUNCEMENTS BEFORE WE
CONCLUDE. EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE THIS EVENING IS INVITED
TO A DESSERT RECEPTION IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE RECESSIONAL. THE RECEPTION WILL BE HELD AT THE OPPOSITE
END OF THIS GYMNASIUM. DURING THE RECESSIONAL, THE STUDENTS ARE ASKED
TO REMAIN SEATED UNTIL THE RECESSION OF THE PRINCIPALS, OFFICIALS AND MEMBERS OF THE FACULTY
IS COMPLETE. THIS CONVOCATION CEREMONY IS NOW ADJOURNED.