>>[APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC]>>We are doing it alive.>>[APPLAUSE]>>That’s it for the students, right?
>>Yeah, [INAUDIBLE]>>They earned it.>>Okay, you’re on. [SOUND]>>Yeah, graduation! Wooo!>>[LAUGH]>>[APPLAUSE] [SOUND] [MUSIC] [MUSIC]>>[APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] [MUSIC]>>Hey look I’m in
the picture! There it is!>>Whoa!>>Hey! [MUSIC]>>[APPLAUSE]>>Hey!>>Hey!>>[MUSIC]>>[LAUGH] [MUSIC]>>[INAUDIBLE] All right. [MUSIC]>>Hi.
>>[LAUGH]>>Well, you sure know how to get on [INAUDIBLE].>>Yeah.
>>Yeah.>>So [INAUDIBLE].>>Just throw it all in the ground.>>[LAUGH]>>Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for
the President’s party.>>[APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC]>>Yes and [INAUDIBLE] [MUSIC]>>[APPLAUSE] [MUSIC]>>[MUSIC]>>[APPLAUSE]>>Divine one, eternal spirit of life, known by many names,
heard in many voices, we invoke your presence
with us today. A day of transition and
a day of transformation. At this 125th Commencement
of Stanford University.>>[APPLAUSE]>>We pause and give thanks for all that
has been accomplished, for the wonder and joy of gifts
and knowledge shared And the sum of gathered
experience in this place. We remember with
heartfelt gratitude all those who have brought us
to this moment, friends and family, professors,
administrators, and staff, and most especially
this year, President Hennessy.>>[APPLAUSE]>>In the great beauty of this day, we feel our existence as
part of the greater whole, the natural world and
all it gives us for the sustenance of life.
And as we celebrate great achievements and delight
in all we have learned, so we recognize that our work
is not done. May we see this day as an invitation to
continue the task of repairing our broken world, a world
undone by violence and hatred. An invitation to use the
knowledge we have learned and the empathy we have gained for the public good.
In this time of commencements, we experience
the celebration of now and the challenge of the future.
May the passionate dedication, the patience perseverance,
the curiosity and creativity that brought
us to this moment, carry us forth to create
a world marked by peace and justice and compassion. Amen.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Please be seated. Graduating students,
faculty colleagues, former and current trustees,
government officials, distinguished guests, family
members and friends. Before we begin today’s commencement
exercises, I would like to ask you to join me in a moment of
silence in solidarity with and support for the thousands
of survivors of sexual and relationship violence and for
the victims of the horrible tragedy that occurred
this morning in Orlando. Thank you. As events
on our own campus and around the country remind us, violence in all forms has
become a scourge in our society. As we celebrate
this 125th commencement, it is my hope that future
generation of graduates will see the end of violence
in all our communities. But if that is to happen, we must
all work to make that vision a reality. In establishing
this university, Jane and Leland Stanford were
looking to the future, to generations of students
like you who would put their education to good use, in the
words of the founding grant, for the benefit of mankind. So
today I warmly welcome you and extend a special welcome
to the seniors and the graduate students from
our various schools. Today, we shall award 1,775
Bachelors Degrees.>>[APPLAUSE]>>2,357 Masters Degrees.>>[APPLAUSE]>>And 1,056 Doctoral Degrees.>>[APPLAUSE]>>The undergraduate class of 2016 includes 285
seniors graduating with departmental honors.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>And 308 graduating with university distinction.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>107 students have satisfied the requirements
of more than one Major and 31 are graduating with
dual Bachelors Degrees.>>[APPLAUSE]>>We have 151 students graduating with a Bachelors
and a Masters and 390 students who have completed
Masters and Minors Degrees.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Throughout its history, Stanford has attracted
students from around the world. This year, 85
members of the undergraduate class of 2016 are from
34 countries other than the United States.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>And we have 1,078 awardees
of Masters, Doctoral, and
Professional Degrees from outside the United States.
Congratulations.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Now you may noticed that I started this morning with
a lot of statistics. But before you jump to
the conclusion that I do this because I’m
a computer scientist, let me mention that reciting
these statistics is an historical tradition at our
commencement ceremonies and one that I am proud to carry
on. Universities are prized for their traditions and
are often the primary home for discussions and
debates about the ancient and timeless questions facing
humanity. At the same time, universities must look
forward, they must be bold as they contemplate the future
and their opportunities. The balancing of old and
new, the innovative and the traditional is a challenge
that universities have faced for hundreds of years.
And it’s been a theme in the speeches of many of
my predecessors. Indeed, our first president,
David Star Jordan, in his inaugural address in
1891 reflected on this balance when he said, it is for
us as teachers and students in the university’s first year
to lay the foundations of the school which may last as
long as human civilization. It is hallowed by no
traditions, it is hampered by none, its finger-posts
all point forward. Today, 125 years later, we have
established some traditions. We saw the wacky walk but
we have not forget in, forgotten President Jordan’s
exhortation. We remain mindful of the need
to reinvent and move forward. As you leave Stanford, I hope
you carry with you a deep appreciation Of the values and
traditions that are everlasting. As well as
a willingness to be bold and to approach challenges
with a fresh perspective. It is with the recognition
that traditions remain vibrant when they
are enthusiastically embraced by succeeding generations that
I now invoke a very special Stanford commencement
tradition. Graduating students, in the
stands are many of those who have made your Stanford
years possible, parents and grandparents, spouses and
children, siblings, aunts, uncles, mentors and friends.
Whoever played a role in helping you get to
Stanford or in supporting and encouraging you once you were
here, I invite you to please turn to the stands and
join me in saying thank you.>>[APPLAUSE]>>And now, I will turn the program over
to Provost John Etchemendy who will present the winners
of the university awards.>>Before I introduce today’s award recipients, I’d like to recognize someone
who is not getting an award, but should be. Today marks
President Hennessy’s last commencement as Stanford’s
President. In many ways, this is your graduation, as well.
So I’d like to ask everybody in the audience to join me
in a round of applause, for your 16-year tenure
as president of Stanford.>>[APPLAUSE]>>It is now my pleasure and privilege to present
the Walter J Gorse Awards for excellence in teaching.
Recommendation for these awards and
for the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Awards and the
Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Awards were considered by a committee
of faculty, students, and staff. I would like to ask the
Gores Awards winners to come to the stage at this time. The Gores Awards were
established by a bequest from Walter J Gores, a Stanford
Alumnist of the class of 1917. Gores was a dedicated
teacher who strove for excellence during his 30 years
as a distinguished professor at the University of Michigan.
The Gores Awards recognize excellent teaching
at the undergraduate and graduate level as defined
in its broadest sense to include lecturing, discussions, tutoring,
advising, and course development. Teaching
is a complex art as well as an essential cornerstone
of university life. I will call each recipient
forward to receive his or her award, and I ask that you
hold your applause until I have announced all of this
year’s award winners. The recipients of the 2016
Walter J Gores Awards for Excellence in Teaching
are Alberto Salleo, Associate Professor of
Material Science and Engineering. Stephen P Boyd, Samsung Professor in
the School of Engineering, and Professor of
Electrical Engineering, and, by courtesy of
Computer Science, and of Management Science and
Engineering. John Edward Molly, lecturer
in Chemical Engineering. Lilly Lamboy, PhD candidate
in Political Science.>>[APPLAUSE]>>E Yang Lee, PhD candidate in Material
Science and Engineering.>>[APPLAUSE]>>On behalf of the university,
I congratulate each of you for this recognition of
excellence in your teaching.>>[APPLAUSE]>>I would like to ask the Dinkelspiel Award winners
to come to the stage at this time. Lloyd Dinkelspiel service
to Stanford included the presidency of the board
of trustees in the 1950s and was characterized by
enduring concern for the quality of undergraduate
education at this university. Shortly after he died in 1959,
the Morick Memorial fund was established to endow the Lloyd
W Dinkelspiel Awards for distinctive contributions
in undergraduate education. The recipients of the 2016
Lloyd W Dinkelspiel Award for distinctive contributions to
undergraduate education are, Stephen Haber, the A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan
Professor, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and
at the Stanford Institute for, for Economic Policy Research,
Professor of Political Science of History, and
by courtesy of Economics. Melissa Coleen Stevenson, lead
academic advising director, and the undergraduate
advising and research.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Marissa Gram Mecina, senior in symbolic systems and
French. And Coterminal MA candidate in
Communication Media Studies. On behalf of the university,
I congratulate you all for the significant recognition
of your contributions to undergraduate education.>>[APPLAUSE]>>The Gores and Dinkelspiel awards
are joined by a third, the Kenneth M
Cuthbertson Award for exceptional service to
Stanford University. I would like to ask the
Cuthbertson Award winner to come to the stage at
this time. This award was established in 1981 to honor
the late Kenneth Cuthbertson, one of the early architects
of Stanford’s long-range financial planning and
development programs. The sole criterion for the Cuthbertson Award is the
quality of the contribution that the recipient
has made to Stanford. This is a fitting lasting
legacy to a man who cared deeply about the University
and it’s values. And whose contributions
continue to benefit each and everyone of us to this day. The recipient of the 2016
Kenneth M Cuthbertson Award, for exceptional contributions
to Stanford University, is Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow
at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute
for International Studies. And Professor by courtesy
of Sociology and Political Science.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Thank you.>>It is now my great pleasure to introduce this
year’s commencement speaker, award winning documentary
filmmaker, Ken Burns.>>[APPLAUSE].>>The Brooklyn Bridge, The Statue of Liberty,
The Civil War, Elizabeth Katie Stampton and
Susie B Anthony. The Roosevelt’s, Jazz,
Baseball, Our National Parks, Jackie Robinson.
These are just a sampling the topics that Ken Burns has
tackled in his documentaries. Proclaimed by the New York
Times as the most accomplished documentary filmmaker
of his generation. Through his films he has been
bringing American history and culture to life for
more than 35 years. Ken Burns was born in
Brooklyn, New York, into an academic family.
In those early years, his family moved often living
in France and Delaware, before settling into Ann Arbor, where
his father joined the faculty at the University of Michigan.
He developed a love for history at an early age.
A great reader as a child who is often immersed in
the family’s encyclopedia. His passion for filmmaking
was sparked at the age of 17. When he was given an 8mm movie
camera, and he made his first documentary on an Ann Arbor
factory shortly thereafter. After earning his
undergraduate degree at Hampshire College in
Massachusetts. Burns co-founded Florentine Films
with several fellow students. In 1981, the release
of Brooklyn Bridge, his first documentary for PBS.
Earned him critical acclaim, and his first Academy Award
nomination. In 1990, his television series, The
Civil War, attracted more than 40 million viewers. Using what
would become his hallmark style, archival photographs,
quotes from letters and journals of contemporaries.
Commentary by historians and scholars, he brought the
stories of both the well known and the unknown to life.
After viewing the series, George Will declared, our
Iliad has found it’s Homer. The Civil War received more
than 40 awards including two Emmy awards, two Grammy
awards, a Peabody award. The D W Griffith Award and
the Lincoln Prize. His compelling technique
of combining pan and zoom to animate historical still
photos acquired the name, The Ken Burns Effect.
>>Whoo.>>Burns has an intellectual and thoughtful approach
that resonates with diverse audiences.
His courageous and revolutionary vision has
created a transcendent and influential body of
documentary film. He expands our views and makes complex
subjects accessible. For example in Jackie Robinson,
which aired just recently. Burns explores not only the
man’s impact on baseball and civil rights. But also
the great love story between Jackie and his wife, Rachel.
And the how the strength of their bond enabled Robinson to
triumph. This year, the 50th anniversary of the National
Endowment of the Humanities. Ken Burns was chosen to give
the 2016 Jefferson lecture on the Humanities. In selecting
Burns, the chairman of the NEH said, his work combines
deep humanities research. With a rich feeling for
American life and culture, an unparalleled public reach
and appeal. Ken is one of the great public intellectuals
and historians of our time. Throughout his career, Ken
Burns has chronicled the great events in our nation’s
history. As he explained in a 2011 interview,
I think we have a hunger for national self definition,
he said. Without a past, we deprive ourselves of
the defining impressions, of our being. The airing
out of history is a kind of medicine, that’s what I’m
interested in, he said. The healing power of history.
We thought that it would be most fitting to have
a chronicler of the American experience and history.
To mark the 125th commencement exercises of this very
American university. Please join me in warmly
welcoming our commencement speaker, Ken Burns.>>[APPLAUSE]>>President Hennessy, Members of the Board
of Trustees, distinguished faculty and
staff. Proud and relieved parents, calm and
serene grandparents. Distracted but secretly
pleased siblings, ladies and gentlemen, graduating students
of the Class of 2016, good morning. I am deeply
honored and privileged that you have asked me here
to say a few words at so momentous an occasion. That
you might find what i have to say worthy of your attention
on so important a day, especially one with such
historical significance. 125 years, wow.
Thank you too, for that generous introduction,
President Hennessy. I, I always feel compelled though
to inoculate myself against such praise. By remembering
that I have on my refrigerator door at home an old. And now
faded cartoon that shows two men standing in hell, the
flames licking up around them. And one guy says to the other,
apparently, my over 200 screen credits
didn’t mean a damn thing.>>[LAUGH]>>They don’t, of course, there is much
more meaning in your accomplishments which
we memorialize today. I am in the business of
memorializing of history, it is not always a popular
subject on college campuses today. Particularly when
at times, it may seem to some an anachronistic and
irrelevant pursuit. Particularly with the
ferocious urgency this moment seems to exert on us.
It is my job, however, to remind people with story,
memory, anecdote feeling of the power
our past also exerts. To help us better understand
what’s going on now. It is my job to try to discern patterns
and themes from history. To enable to us to
interpret our dizzying, and sometimes dismaying, present. For nearly 40 years now I,
I have diligently practiced, and rigorously maintained
a conscious neutrality in my work. Avoiding the advocacy
of many of my colleagues, trying to speak to all
of my fellow citizens. Over those decades of
historical documentary filmmaking, I have also come
to the realization that history is not a fixed thing.
A collection of precise dates Facts and events that add up
to a quantifiable, certain, confidently known truth.
History is a mysterious and malleable thing constantly
changing, not just as new information emerges, but
as our own interests, emotions and inclinations change. Each
generation rediscovers and reexamines that
part of the past which gives its present new
meaning, new possibility, and new power. The question
becomes for us now, for you especially, what will we
choose as our inspiration? Which distant events and long
dead figures will provide us with the greatest help,
the most coherent context and the wisdom simply to go
forward? This is as in part an existential question. None
of us get out of here alive. An exception will not be made
in your case and you’ll live forever. You can’t actually
design your life. If you wanna make God laugh, the saying
goes, tell her your plans.>>[APPLAUSE]>>The hard times and vicissitudes of life will
ultimately visit everyone. You will come to realize
that you are less defined by the good things that happen to
you, your moments of happiness and apparent control, than you
are by those misfortunes and unexpected challenges that
in fact shape you more definitively and help to
solidify your true character, the measure of any human
value. You, especially, know that the conversation
that comes out of tragedy and injustice needs
to be encouraged, emphasis on courage.
It is through those conversations
that we make progress. A mentor of mine,
the journalist Tom Brokaw, recently said to me, what we
learn is more important than what we set out to do.
It’s tough out there, but so beautiful too. And history,
memory can prepare you. I have a searing memory of
the summer of 1962 when I was almost 9, joining our
family dinner on a hot sweltering day in tract house
in a development in Newark, Delaware, and seeing my mother
crying. She had just learned, and my brother and
I had just been told, that she would be dead of
cancer within six months, but that’s not what was causing
her tears. Our inadequate health insurance had
practically bankrupted us. And our neighbors, equally
struggling working people, had taken up a collection and
presented my parents with six crisp $20 bills. $120
in total, enough to keep us solvent for more than a month.
In that moment, I understood something about
community and courage, about constant struggle and
little victories. That hot June evening was a victory.
And I have spent my entire professional life trying to
resurrect small moments within the larger sweep of American
history. Trying to find our better angels in the most
difficult of circumstances. Trying to wake the dead to
hear their stories. But how do we keep that realization of
our own inevitable mortality from paralyzing us with fear?
And how do we also keep our usual denial of this fact
from depriving our lives and our actions of real
meaning of real purpose? This is our great human
challenge, your challenge. This is where history can
help. The past often offers an illuminating and clear
headed perspective from which to observe and reconcile the
passions of the present moment just when they threatened
to overwhelm us. The history we know,
the stories we tell ourselves relieve the existential
anxiety, allow us to live beyond our fleeting lifespans,
and permit us to value and love and distinguish
what is important. And the practice of history,
both personal and professional, becomes
a kind of conscience for us. As a filmmaker, as
a historian, as an American, I have been drawn continually
to the life and example and words of Abraham Lincoln. He
seems to get us better than we get ourselves. 158 years
ago in mid-June of 1858, Abraham Lincoln, running in
what would be a failed bid for the United States Senate at a
time of bitter partisanship in our national politics almost
entirely over the issue of slavery, spoke to the
Republican State Convention in the Illinois Statehouse
in Springfield. His political party,
the Republican Party, was brand new, born barely
four years before with on single purpose in mind, to
end the intolerable hypocrisy of chattel slavery that still
existed in a country promoting certain unalienable rights
to itself and the world. He said, a house divided
against itself cannot stand. A house divided against
itself cannot stand. Four and a half years later,
he was president, presiding over a country in
the midst of the worst crisis in American history, our Civil
War, giving his annual message to Congress, what we now
call the State of the Union. The State of the Union
was not good. His house was divided, but he
also saw the larger picture. The dogmas of the quiet past
are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled
high with difficulty, he said, and we must rise with the
occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew, and
act anew. We must dis-enthrall ourselves and then we
shall save our country. And then he went on,
fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. The
fiery trial through which we pass will light us
down in honor or dishonor to the latest
generation. We say we are for union, the world will not
forget that we say this. We know how to save the union. In
giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free,
honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.
We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best
hope of Earth. You are that latest generation he was
metaphorically speaking about. And you are, whether you
are yet aware of it or not, charged with saving our
union. The stakes are slightly different than the ones
Lincoln faced. There is not yet armed rebellion, but they
are just as high. And before you go out and try to live and
shape the rest of your life, you are required now to rise
as Lincoln as implored us with the occasion. You know,
it’s terribly fashionable these days to criticize
the United States government, the institution Lincoln
was trying to save, to blame it for all the ills
known to humankind. And my goodness, ladies and
gentlemen, let’s be honest, it has made more than its fair
share of catastrophic mistakes But you would be hard pressed
to find in all of human history a greater force for
good. From our Declaration of Independence to our
Constitution and Bill of Rights. From Lincoln’s
Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th, 14th, 15th, and
women, 19th amendments. To the land-grant college and
Homestead Acts. From the transcontinental
railroad and our national parks to child labor
laws, Social Security, and the National Labor Relations
Acts, from the GI Bill and the Interstate Highway System,
to putting a man on the moon and
the Affordable Care Act, the United States government
has been the author of many of the best aspects of our
public and personal lives.>>[APPLAUSE]>>But if you tune in to politics, if you listen to
the rhetoric of this election cycle, you are made painfully aware that everything is going
to hell in a handbasket, and the chief culprit is
our evil government. Part of the reason this kind
of criticism sticks is because we live in an age of social
media, where we are constantly assured that we are all
independent, free agents. But that free agency is
essentially unconnected to real community, divorced
from civic engagement. Duped into believing in
our own lonely primacy by a sophisticated media
culture that requires you, no, desperately needs you to
live in an all-consuming, disposable present,
wearing the right blue jean, driving the right car,
carrying the right handbag. Eating at all the right
places, blissfully unaware of the historical tides that have
brought us to this moment, blissfully uninterested in
where those tides might take us. Our spurious sovereignty
is reinforced and perpetually underscored to our
obvious and great comfort. But this kind of existence
actually ingrains in us a stultifying sameness
that rewards conformity, not courage, ignorance and
anti-intellectualism, not critical thinking.
This wouldn’t be so bad if we were just wasting
our own lives, but this year, our political future depends
on it. And there comes a time when I, and you, can no
longer remain neutral silent, we must speak up and
speak out. For 216 years, our elections,
though bitterly contested, have featured
the philosophies and characters of candidates
who were clearly qualified. That is not
the case this year.>>[APPLAUSE]>>One is glaringly not qualified.>>So before you do anything with your well-earned degree,
you must do everything you can to defeat the retrograde
forces that have invaded our democratic process, divided
our house. To fight against, no matter your political
persuasion. The dictatorial tendencies of the candidate
with zero experience in the much maligned but
subtle art of governance.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Who is against lots of things, but doesn’t seem
to be for anything, offering only bombastic and
contradictory promises and terrifying Orwellian
statesmen. A person who easily lies,
creating an environment where the truth
doesn’t seem to matter. Who has never demonstrated
any interest in anyone or anything but himself and
his own enrichment.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Who insults veterans, threatens the free press,
mocks the handicapped, denigrates women,
immigrants, and all Muslims, a man who took more than
a day to remember to disavow a supporter who advocates
white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan.
An infantile, bullying man, who depending on his mood is
willing to discard old and established alliances,
treaties, and long-standing relationships.
I feel, I feel genuine sorrow for
the understandably scared and they feel powerless people
who have flocked to his campaign in the mistaken
belief that, as often happens on TV, a wand can be waved and
every complicated problem can be solved with
the simplest of solutions. They can’t. It is
a political Ponzi scheme. And asking this man
to assume the highest office in the land
would be like asking a newly-minted car
driver to fly a 747.>>[APPLAUSE]>>As a student of history, I recognize this type.
He emerges everywhere and in all eras. We see
nurtured in his campaign, an incipient proto-fascism, a nativist anti-immigrant
know nothingism, a disrespect for
the judiciary. The prospect of women losing authority
over their own bodies. African Americans, again,
asked to go to the back of the line. Voter suppression
gleefully promoted. Jingle wispic saber rambling. A total
lack of historical awareness, a political paranoia that
predictably points fingers, always making the other wrong.
These are all virulent strains that have at times
infected us in the past, but they now loom in front of us
again, all happening at once. We know from our history books
that these are the diseases of ancient and
now fallen empires.>>[APPLAUSE]>>We know from our history books that these are
the diseases of ancient and now fallen empires.
The sense of commonwealth, of shared sacrifice, of trust,
so much a part of American life is eroding fast.
Spurred along and amplified by an amoral Internet,
that permits a lie to circle the globe three times before
the truth can get started. We no longer have the luxury
of neutrality or balance or even bemused disdain. Many of
our immediate institutions have largely failed to expose
this charlatan, torn between a nagging responsibility to good
journalism and the big ratings a media circus always
delivers. In fact, they have given him abundant,
the abundant air time he so desperately craves. So much so
that it has actually worn down our natural human revulsion.
To this kind of behavior. Hey, he’s rich, he must
be doing something right. He’s not. Edward R Murrow
would have exposed this naked emperor months ago. He is
an insult to our history and do not be deceived by his
momentary good behavior. It’s only a spoiled,
misbehaving child, hoping somehow to still
have dessert. This->>[APPLAUSE]>>And do not think that the tragedy in Orlando
underscores his points. It does not.
We must disenthrall ourselves, as Abraham Lincoln said, from
the culture of violence and guns, and then we shall
save our country. This, ladies and gentleman, is not a
liberal or conservative issue, a red state, blue state
divide. This is an American issue. Many honourable
people including the last two Republican Presidents,
members of the party of Abraham Lincoln, have
declined to support him and I implore those Vichy
Republicans who have endorsed him to please, please,
reconsider. We must remain committed to the kindness and
community that all of the hallmarks of
civilization, and reject the troubling, unfiltered
Tourette’s of his tribalism.>>[APPLAUSE]>>The next few months of your commencement, that is to say,
your future, will be critical to
the survival of the Republic. The occasion is piled
high with difficulty. Let us pledge here today that
we will not let this happen to the exquisite, yet deeply
flawed land we all love and cherish, and hope to leave
intact to our posterity. Let us nobly save, not meanly
lose, the last best hope of Earth. Let me speak directly
to the graduating class. Watch out,
here comes the advice. Look, I am the father of
four daughters. If someone tells you they’ve
been sexually assaulted, take it f’ing seriously and
listen to them.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Maybe someday we will make the survivor’s eloquent
statement as important as Dr. King’s letter from
a Birmingham jail. Okay, try not to make the other
wrong as I just did with the presumptive nominee.
Be for something. Be curious, not cool. Feed your soul too,
every day. Remember, insecurity makes liars of us
all, not just presidential candidates. Don’t confuse
success with excellence. The poet, Robert Penn Warren,
once told me that careerism is death. Do not descend too
deeply into specialism either. Educate all of your parts,
you will be healthier. Free yourself from the limitations
of the binary world. It is just a tool, a means,
not an end. Seek out and have mentors. Listen to them.
The late theatrical director, Tyrone Guthrey, once said,
we are looking for ideas large enough to be afraid of. Again,
embrace those new ideas, bite off more than
you can chew, travel, do not get stuck in one place.
Visit our national parks, their sheer majesty may
remind you of your own atomic insignificance,
as one observer noted. But in the inscrutable
ways of nature, you will feel larger,
inspirited, just as the egotist in our
midst is diminished by his or her self-regard. Insist on
heroes and be one. Read, the book is still the greatest
man made machine of all, not the car, not the TV,
not the smartphone.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Make babies. One of the greatest things
that will happen to you is that you will
have to worry, I mean, really worry about someone
other than yourself. It is liberating and
exhilarating, I promise. Ask your parents.
>>[LAUGH]>>[APPLAUSE]>>Do not lose your enthusiasm.
In it’s Greek etymology, the word enthusiasm
means simply, God in us. Serve your country. Insist
that we fight the right wars, convince your government as
Lincoln knew, that the real threat always and still comes
from within this favored land. Governments always
forget that. Insist that we support science and
the arts, especially the arts. They have nothing to do with
the actual defense of our country. They just make our
country worth defending.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Believe, believe, as Arthur Miller told
me in an interview for my very first film, On
the Brooklyn Bridge, believe, that maybe you too could add
something that would last and be beautiful. And vote,
you indelibly underscore your citizenship and our connection
to each other, when you do. Good luck, and God speed.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Thank you Ken for those inspiring, honest words
that I think called us all to be our own best selves.
Will the Provost please come forward to present the
candidates for the degrees.>>Mr. President. First, I have
the honor to recognize all of those who have
completed the requirements for masters and doctoral degrees. They will be presented to you
by the Deans of their schools.>>Will the candidates from the School of Engineering
please stand.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Mr. President Mr. President, I present to you
those who have completed the requirements for the Degree of
Master of Science, Engineer and Doctor of Philosophy.
>>By the authority vested in me by the faculty and
trustees of this university. I am happy to confer publicly
upon you the degrees for which you have been presented
and to admit you to their rights, responsibilities and
privileges. Congratulations.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Will the graduates from the School of Engineering, please be seated.
>>Will the candidates from the School of
Law please stand.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Mr. President, I present to you those
who have completed the requirements for the Degrees of Doctor
of Jurisprudence, Master of the Science of Law,
Doctor of the Science of Law, and Master of Laws.
>>By the authority vested in me by the faculty and
trustees of this university, I am happy to confer publicly
upon you, the degrees for which you have been presented
and to admit you to their rights, responsibilities and
privileges. Congratulations.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Will the graduates of the School of Law,
please be seated.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Will the candidates from the Graduate School of
Education please stand.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Mr. President, I present to you those
who have completed the requirements of the
Degrees of Master of Arts and Doctorate of Philosophy.
>>Thank you Dean Schwartz, and may, I may welcome you to your first commencement as the
Dean of the Graduate School of en-Education.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>Congratulations. By the authority invested
in me by the faculty and trustees of this university,
I am happy to confirm publicly upon you the degrees for which
you have been presented and to admit you to their rights,
responsibilities and privileges. Congratulations.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>Will the graduates from the Graduate School of
Education please be seated.>>Will the candidates from the School of Humanities and
Sciences please stand.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Mr. President, I present to you
those who have completed the requirements for
the Degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Liberal Arts,
Master of Science, Master of Fine Arts,
Doctor of Musical Arts and Doctor of Philosophy.
>>By the authority vested in my by the faculty and
trustees of this university, I am happy to confer publicly
upon you the degrees for which you have been presented,
and to admit you to their rights, responsibilities and
privileges. Congratulations.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Will the graduates from the school
of humanities and sciences please be seated.
>>Will the candidates from the School
of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences
please stand.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Mr. President, I present to you those who have completed
the requirements for the degrees of Master of
Science, Engineer, and Doctor of Philosophy.
>>By the authority invested in me, by the faculty and
trustees of this university, I am happy to confirm publicly
upon you, the degrees for which you have been presented
and to admit you to their rights, responsibilities and
privileges. Congratulations.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Will the graduates from the School of Earth
please be seated.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Will the candidates from the Graduate School of
Business, please stand.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Mr. President, I present to you those who have
completed the requirements for the degrees of Master of
Art in Business Research, Master of Science
in Management, Master of
Business Administration and Doctor of Philosophy.
>>Thank you Dean Saloner, and may I also thank you for
seven years of service to Stanford as Dean of the
Graduate School of Business.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Your leadership has been incredible, thank you.
>>Thank you.>>[APPLAUSE]>>By the authority invested in me by the faculty and
trustees of this university, I am happy to confer publicly
upon you the degrees for which you have
been presented and to admit you to their rights,
responsibilities and privileges. Congratulations.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>Will the graduates from the School of Business
please be seated.>>Will the candidates from the School of Medicine
please stand.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Mr. President, I present to you those who have completed
the requirements for the Degrees of Master of Arts,
Master of Science, Doctor of Medicine and
Doctor of Philosophy.>>By the authority vested in me by the faculty and
trustees of this university, I am happy to confirm publicly
upon you, the degrees for which you have been presented
and to admit you to their rites, responsibilities, and
privileges. Congratulations.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Will the graduates from the School of
Medicine please be seated.>>Well, Mr. Provost, have we forgotten anybody?
>>I think we’re done.>>I think so.>>We can go home now.>>The class of 16.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Mr. President, I present to you those who have completed
the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts, and the
Bachelor of Science degrees, and the Bachelor of Arts and
Science degree, please stand.>>[APPLAUSE]>>By the authority vested in me by the faculty and trustees
of this university, I am happy to confer publicly upon each
of you the degrees for which you have been presented and
to admit you to the rights, responsibilities and
privilege. Congratulations 016.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>[APPLAUSE]>>Will the graduates please be seated.>>Graduates of Stanford University
>>On behalf of all members of the Stanford family,
I congratulate and commend you. Today is
a day of celebration, but before we close,
I would like to reflect for a few minutes on a phrase
you heard several times this morning, as each group of
students was presented for the conferral of degrees. I
responded by admitting you to the rights, responsibilities,
and privileges associated with the degree from Stanford
University. Those rights and privileges also bring
a responsibility to make good use of your knowledge.
Today you join a long line of distinguished
alumni who have taken that responsibility seriously,
and worked to make the world a better place. Indeed,
two of our newest alumni displayed their courage,
compassion, and fortitude, when as international
graduate students last year, they stopped and intervened to
halt a tragedy in the making. To our two heroes, thank you
for reminding us of how to stand up for justice and
against violence. Thank you.>>[APPLAUSE]>>For the past 15 years, I’ve concluded
the commencement ceremony by talking about an alumnus who
served the greater good and exemplified the Standford
spirit. Today, I share this stage with
just such a Stanford alumnus. An alumnus who has spent
the last 33 years at this institution. For 17 years,
he served as a professor of philosophy, engaged in
teaching and research, and for the last 16 years, he has
served as the university’s Provost. The longest serving
Provost in our history. Now many people do not know
exactly what the Provost does.>>[LAUGH]>>But I can easily explain it with a few examples. Are you
a faculty member who has been appointed or promoted or
renewed in the past 16 years? Or are you a student who has
benefited from a teacher or an adviser, who has been
appointed in the past 16 years? Provost John Etchemendy
oversaw the hiring and review of thousands of
faculty members. Amazingly, more than half of the current
Stanford faculty were appointed while he was serving
as the university’s chief academic officer.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>If you are an undergraduate or a graduate student that
has received financial aid, you have benefited from
the Provost diligent and thoughtful fiscal stewardship, and his incredible
determination not to cut financial aid after the
mass of 2008 fiscal crisis.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Since Sean began as Provost, the amount
the university spends annually on financial aid has more
than doubled in real dollars. Perhaps you’ve lived in
one of the new residences, such as the Kennedy or
Munger Graduate Residence. Or the new humanities house, or
the renovated Crothers and Crother’s memorial.
Or you might have worked in or had classes in the new
science and engineering quad. A big improvement from
the industrial slum era of buildings that I spent my
early years in at Stanford. Through any of these, you’ve benefited from
the Provost’s leadership and oversight of our capital
facilities. Perhaps you benefited directly or
indirectly from the Provost’s extensive efforts to diversify
the faculty and the graduate students. Provost Etchemendy
has been a national leader in seeking ways to enhance the
diversity of our faculty and diversify the future
professorate through programs, such as Dare and Edge, which
support a diverse community of graduate students. Perhaps
you enjoyed studying in the new Laufert library.
And you are so happy that the old Meyer library,
known by students as ugly, is now the lovely Meyer Green.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>Maybe you are an avid user of the new fitness facilities
or swimming pools or a participant in
the Be Well programs. The Provost has been
a campius champion for a more healthy and
active lifestyle, and many members of the community
have followed his lead and benefited. He has handled his
many responsibilities with the highest ethical standards,
with a tireless work ethic, and with the patience of Job,
and he has always had one,
single, overriding objective, doing what is in the best
interest of our students and our faculty. As you can
see from these examples, it would be impossible to
be here at Stanford without having greatly benefited from
the Provost many efforts over the past 16 years. The
work we do at the university, to educate the next
generation, and contribute to the world’s knowledge,
is vitally important. Provost Etchemendy’s 16 years
of service have dramatically improved Stanford’s ability to
carry out that noble mission. Won’t you join me in thanking
the Provost for his many, many contributions?>>[APPLAUSE]>>I wanna conclude by harkening back to some
thoughts about the obligations of the Stanford
graduate that I quoted in my very first
Commencement in 2001. The thoughts come from
a 1905 Commencement Address of the university’s first
President, David Starr Jordan. And I was amazed at how timely
the thoughts were in 2001, and still are today.
Whatever you have acquired, President Jordan told
the graduates, should be an impulse to action.
If you have planned somewhat, then carry out your plans. If
you have learned the nature of something, turn that
knowledge into execution. If you have gained
higher aspirations and your hearts have been
touched by a warmer glow, then your neighbors
should feel that warmth. There is no virtue
in knowledge, in training, in emotion,
or in aspiration, except as you use them
in the conduct of life. So as you leave, I hope you
carry with you a strong determination to make your
own contribution to a better world, and to exemplify the
best of the Stanford spirit. Know that nothing Gives us,
as your teachers and mentors, greater joy than to
see a former student succeed. Make us proud,
I know you will. Congratulations and
best wishes.>>[APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] [APPLAUSE]>>Please rise as you
are able for the benediction. Beloved graduates of
the class of 2016, may your minds and your
hearts come alive today to the invisible geography that
invites you to new frontiers. To risk being disturbed and
changed. May you have the courage to
live a life that you will love. To postpone your
dreams no longer and do at last what you came here
for. May you live this day and those to come. Compassionate
of heart, clear in word, gracious in awareness,
courageous in thought, generous in love. May
the nourishment of the Earth be yours. May the clarity
of light be yours. May the fluency of
the ocean be yours. May the protection of
the ancestors be yours. And may a slow wind work
these of love around you, an invisible cloak
to mind your life. May God bless you and
keep you, now and in the days to come. Amen.>>[APPLAUSE] [MUSIC]