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Wide Variety of Advice Marks Commencement 2012

May 21, 2012 – More than 5,400 students graduating over the weekend got advice from such luminaries as “The Wire” creator David Simon, brain plasticity expert Helen Neville and LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy.

Nine commencement ceremonies took place May 17-20:

  • College
  • School of Foreign Service
  • School of Nursing & Health Studies
  • McDonough School of Business (MSB) undergraduate program
  • MSB’s MBA and other graduate programs
  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Law Center
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Continuing Studies

Share the Future

Simon, who spoke at the College commencement, apologized to graduates for his generation’s squandering of the opportunity to “deliver a great society.”

“My generation owes yours an apology because we definitely shanked it, we choked,” said Simon, who also created the TV show “Treme.”

“We took our eyes off the prize which was always this – there can’t be two Americas, one for the fortunate and another for the rest. All of us must share the same future, like it or not,” he said.

Find Your Passion

At the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences commencement, Neville, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Oregon, told graduates to help those who are less privileged and to fulfill their career aspirations.

“Take your time in figuring out your path – the path that you really love, your passion,” she said. “And it often does take a long time, but once you find it, you never have to ‘work’ a day in your life.”

Find Smart People

Tim O’Shaughnessy (B’04), CEO of LivingSocial, advised graduates of the McDonough School of Business to make themselves “the dumbest person in the room.”

“Find the smartest people you can and latch into them,” he said. “They will push you, help you solve problems, be the yin to your yang.”

O’Shaughnessy said he decided eight years ago that he wanted to create jobs.

“I could think of nothing better than giving people a reason to get up to go to work in the morning and [have] financial security,” he said.

Honors and Recognitions

All three speakers received honorary degrees, as did several other speakers. Each school also held award-giving ceremonies for faculty and students, and 150 students were recognized for their public service in Georgetown’s Center for Social Justice, Teaching and Research.

Former FBI director Louis Freeh spoke at the ROTC commissioning ceremony, at which his son, Sean Freeh (SFS’12) and other students became second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

For complete coverage of the ceremonies, click here.


Related Information

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