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Actress, Alumna Brit Marling Touts Importance of Relationships at Senior Convocation

May 16, 2013 – Actress and filmmaker Brit Marling (C’05) told the Class of 2013 to maintain the friendships and relationships they cultivated during their undergraduate career as they enter the next stage of the lives.

Marling (C’05), the star, co-writer and co-producer of Another Earth and soon-to-be-released The East, addressed the 1,857 members of Georgetown’s Class of 2013 during today’s Senior Convocation.

“If I can tell you anything of value it is that the most important thing you can do from here is to hold on to one another because the truth is you can’t do it alone, and it isn’t as much fun,” said Marling, who studied economics and studio art while at Georgetown. “The truth is, which we are sometimes reluctant to admit in a culture that loves the meteoric ascent of solitary genius, … we need each other, probably more now than ever.”

The convocation marks the start of the university’s 2013 Commencement Weekend, May 16-19.

“Special and Sacred Campus”

  Marling talked about how she met her film collaborators Mike Cahill (C’01) and Zal Batmanglij (C’02) during her first year at Georgetown and how their bold move to relocate to California to make films eventually paid off because they were true to their filmmaking experiences at Georgetown.

“This is a very special and sacred campus, and it gave us the freedom to create work without fear of failure or preoccupation with the results,” she said.

Marling added that the friendships made by the Class of 2013 will pay off dividends like her friendships with Cahill and Batmanglij.

“The bonds that you have made with the people sitting beside you are the asset worth the price of admission,” she said. “You’ve studied with each other, you’ve competed with each other, you’ve pushed each other well past wherever you thought you could go.”

Building Relationships

If your network merely consists of those who are like you, connected in a tight cluster, then your network is less than the sum of its parts.”

 

Eric Mooring (C'13)

Student speakers also emphasized the importance of relationships.

Eric Mooring (C’13), an environmental biology and government double major, believes building relationships with people of both similar and different beliefs is important.

“No matter how many connections you make and no matter how strong those connections are, if your network merely consists of those who are like you, connected in a tight cluster, then your network is less than the sum of its parts,” he said.

Mooring, a Churchill Scholar who will study veterinary science in the United Kingdom, said serving as a bridge between individuals and communities can also be rewarding.

“… Those are connections worth cultivating. Those are connections that make the biggest difference, both for ourselves and for the world,” he said.

“A Deep Hope”

If we are to survive the journey, we have to recognize how the memories that we carry and the people that we rely on shape and support us.”

 

Joanna Foote (SFS'13)

Joanna Foote (SFS’13) talked about the relationships she cultivated during her work welcoming deported migrants on the Mexico side of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The international culture and politics major said the migrants taught her about living on the brink of obtaining a better way of life for their families. That lesson was worth passing on to her classmates.

“[The migrants] represent a deep hope and broader perspective in the face of uncertain material circumstances,” said Foote, who received a Fulbright Scholarship to research the reintegration of deported and returning migrants in Central Mexico.

Foote added that as the graduates move on from Georgetown, the memories made during the past four years would shape the rest of their lives.

“If we are to survive the journey, we have to recognize how the memories that we carry and the people that we rely on shape and support us,” she said.

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