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The Michigan Daily -" michigandaily.com

j Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 5C

The Michigan Daily -. michigandailycom tin j\f r ity Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 5C

College head
gives advice

Twitter CEO Richard Costolo takes a photograph at the aadience hetore receiing his honorary degree at spring commencement
Twitter CEO urges students
tobeon themselves'

Class of 2013
graduates more
than 5,000
students
By ADAM RUBENFIRE and
ANDREW WEINER
DailyStaffReporters
MAY 4 2013 - At a 50,000-per-
son event that was hardly
improvised, the spring 2013
University graduates listened to
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo as he
spoke about the value of improvi-
sation and living in the moment.
More than 5,000 graduating
students took to the Big House
on Saturday for commencement
under sunny skies and a light
wind. The video scoreboards dis-
played recorded messages from
graduating students and tweets
with #MGoGrad, fitting for an
event headlined by the chief exec-
utive of hashtags.
University President Mary
Sue Coleman gave remarks ind
presented honorary degrees
on behalf of the University's
Board of Regents to Pulitzer-
prize-winning historian David
McCullough, University alum
and philanthropist William
Brehm, famed ballerina Suzanne
Farrell and University alum Rosa-
beth Kanter, a business professor
at Harvard University.
Coleman's address challenged
graduates to follow in the path of
historic University alumni: "You
will create change for the better,
you will work on behalf of your
neighbors, and you will do it with
dignity and integrity."
Costolo, a 1985 University
graduate, began his address -
which he jokingly said he began
planning for Saturday morning -
by taking a quick iPhone picture
to tweet out to his 1 million fol-
lowers, thanking his parents and
reminding graduates to thank
whoever supported them through
their education.
Costolo, who was a computer

science student during his time
at the University, had a change of
heart regarding his career after
taking an acting class his senior
year. It turned out to be more
than "saying Arthur Miller lines
to each other," so he took anoth-
er course the next semester and
began stand-up comedy. Turning
down programming job offers, he
moved to Chicago to try his hand
at improvisational comedy with
the Second City, the famous the-
ater company.
Costolo offered the picture-
perfect version of how life in Chi-
cago could have panned out, then
explained the reality.
"In the real-world story of what
happened, I decided to make a big
bet on myself and take the chance
to do this because it's what I
love," Costolo said. "I was grind-
ing away for a long time and had
no money, and we would rehearse
during the dayand perform these
little theaters at night for free and
I was taking classes during the
day at Second City, as well, trying
to learn improvisation and even-
tually had to get out because Ihad
no money. So I put my CS degree
from Michigan to use wrapping
flatware and selling place settings
at Crate and Barrel."
Improvisation, he said, is less
than a skill than an expectation
for graduates as they follow their
passions.
He passed on advice given to
'him by a director at Second City:
"The beauty of improvisation
is you're experiencing it in the
moment, if you try to plan what
the next line will be, you're just
going to be disappointed,"he said.
To end his often humorous
remarks, Costolo invoked myri-
ad careers University graduates
would pursue and had advice no
matter where they end up: "Be
right there, and nowhere else, in
that moment. Soak it all it. And
remenber to say thank you."
In an interview after com-
mencement, Costolo said, "You
have this intellectual sense of
how big the crowd is, but until
you go out there and experience

it, you don't really have an appre-
ciation for it."
"You have to have a north
star," he said of the path - or
lack thereof - he endorsed, "but
you can't constantly worry about,
'Well, and then I'm supposed to
do this,' because life doesn't work
that way and you won't experi-
ence your life. You'll be living it in
service to some expectations that
are fiction."
LSA graduate Anisha Chadha
was the only student speaker on
Saturday. Though she came to
the University concerned about
how she would feel among some
25,000 undergraduates, Chadha
said joining student organiza-
tions allowed her to create a
small, unique community on
campus.
"I realized, no matter what we
were doing, it was almost impos-
sible for me to feel small," Chadha
said in her address. "Even when
I was in this Big House, with
114,803 other people, I began to
realize that what I was feeling
was not smallness, but rather I
was feeling like I was a part of
something bigger than myself."
Though 'most 'use the term
"Michigan Difference" to
describe the academic and cul-
tural caliber of the University,
Chadha explained it as the impact
Michigan graduates can have on
humanity.
"It is the difference we were
given the opportunity to make,"
Chadha said. "I is the knowledge,
the empathy and the skills we
have gained herd that are needed
to be able to make a thoughtful
difference in the lives of others."
As she concluded her speech,
Chadha reminded her fellow
graduates that they represent the
University and the power of its
graduates in their future endeav-
ors.
"Always remember: you
are contributing to our class's
'Michigan Difference' and the
difference made by all of the Wol-
verines before us."
Nursinggraduate Shana Walk-
er participated as flag bearer,

designated to carry and mount
the ceremonial flag of the School'
of Nursing. She said she was
honored to sit on stage with the
University's deans, regents and
administrators.
Reflecting on her undergradu-
ate career here, Walker said she
would always remember the
time she spent studying abroad
in South Africa. She stressed that
students should participate in
study-abroad programs and stu-
dent organizations before they
graduate to make their time at the
University unique.
Though some graduates are
concerned about entering a still-
recovering job market, Walker
wasn't. Rather, she said feels
qualified to enter her field and
expects to find employment.
Other graduates, such as LSA
graduate Margo Koutsouradis,
said they feel a mix of fear and
excitement in starting the next
chapter of their lives. Koutsou-
radis said she's not entirely sure
of her post-graduation plans, but
noted that she will be taking the
LSAT in the coming months and
taking time off before going to
law school.
Music, Theater & Dance gradu-
ate Austin Hoeltzelwas chosento
perform the National Anthem to
begin the ceremony.
"I was honored to be asked,
and it was the perfect way to fin-
ish my time here at the Univer-
sity," Hoeltzel said.
Hoeltzel will soon attend the
University of Houston to pur-
sue a Master's degree in vocal
performance. Like many fellow
graduates, he said he was happy
to embrace the enormity the
University while making long-
lasting friendships and memo-
ries through smaller groups on
campus, including the Men's Glee
Club.
"The University just has every-
thing. It's got the big University
feel, but then I was at the Music
School on North Campus thathad
that conservatory feel. There's
amazing groups to be a part of...
it'sjust been reallywonderful."

Winter graduates
hear fromn'U'
alum and Grinnell
College president
By ALICIA ADAMCZYK
Daily News Editor
DEC. 16, 2012 - Cameras
flashed, families cheered and
beaming graduates donned
in gowns and sashes proudly
accepted their diplomas at the
Crisler Center Sunday afternoon,
leavingcthe University to join the
ranks of leaders and best across
the globe.
The 2012 Winter Commence-
ment ceremony celebrated the
graduates' current accomplish-
ments and looked toward the
future.
University alum Raynard S.
Kington, the keynote speaker
and president of Grinnell College,
told grads that these futures must
involve embracingthe unknown.
"I believe it's OK to admit that
you do not'know the answers,"
Kington said to the crowd.
"Admitting incomplete knowl-
edge is not a sign of failure. Fail-
ure only comes when you stop
trying to find the answers."
Kington said the University
gives students knowledge, but
does not give them the answers to
life's most pressing questions. For
these, he said, students must stay
curious, adaptable and persistent.
"Not knowing is part of the
human experience," Kington
said. "That funny feeling of not
knowing must be followed by.
the impulse to wonder why and
to look for answers. This is what
leaders do."
He ended his remarks
acknowledging a University edu-
cation has undoubtedly equipped
students with the ability to
understand and question what
they do not know.
"I leave you with my best
wishes, and my greatest hopes,"
Kington concluded. "May you
prosper.".
University Provost Philip
Hanlon,whorecentlywaselected
the next president of Dartmouth
College,' asked the graduating
class to reflect on their time at the
University. He said the school's
wide breadth of opportunities,
cultural diversity, service expe-
riences and leadership training
wouldhelpthemgoingforward.
"Michigan graduates not
only engage in public discourse
and debate on issues facing the
world, Michigan graduates actu-
ally shape the discourse," Hanlon
said. "They point the way for-
ward."

University President Mary
Sue Coleman discussed the
unceasing passion and tenacity
of the graduates. Referencing the
current divisive political climate
and discouraging employment
opportunities, Coleman said it
was understandable for students
to be anxious and even jaded
about the future.
She then spoke of Raoul Wal-
lenberg - a Swedish alum and
humanitarian who helped free
100,000 Jews from Nazi con-
centration camps - as a shining
example of what a University
alum can accomplish even in the
mid.t"of(aBterrible situation. ,
"Like Raul Wallenberg you
cannot imagine the challenges
that will await you, you cannot
predichow youwill react," Cole-
man said. "(But) believe that you,
like Wallenberg_.. can and will
make a difference in transform-
ing our state, our nation and
our world with your ideas and
actions."
LSA graduate Katharine
Stockrahm gave the remarks on
behalf of the students, where she
detailed the "blood, sweat and
tears" that went in to earning
her University degree, focusing
on the memories made along the
way.
"People always talk about the
'Michigan Difference,' as if it
could be defined simplyby a care-
fully selected string of words,"
Stockrahm said. "'m here to say
it's really a collection of experi-
ences."
Kington and five others -
ranging from a playwright to
United States Appeals Court
judge - received honorary
degrees from the University and
the Board of Regents.
After the ceremony, gradu-
ates received bouquets of flow-
ers, balloons and stuffed animals
from smiling friends and family
members. Some hugged relatives,
children and spouses, while oth-
ers sought out friends to say final
goodbyes.
Taking a break from family
photos and tearful hugs, Joe B.
Brown, the father of Engineering
graduate Luree Brown, said he
dedicated himself to educating
his daughter, and has looked for-
ward to her graduation day.
"I felt it was very special when
the University of Michigan want-
ed her to be here," Brown said.
"To see her complete it is inspir-
ing for me."
Public Health graduate Katie
Fatasaidshethoughtthe ceremo-
ny was touching, but can't wait to
start the next chapter of her life.
"I'm excited to get'my career
and life started, and move on
fromcollege," Fatasaid.
See GRADUATES, Page 9

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