Amanda Skofstad | May 21, 2018
The University of Notre Dame celebrated its 173rd Commencement Ceremony Sunday (May 20) in Notre Dame Stadium, with an audience of approximately 21,000 family members, friends, faculty and graduates.
The ceremony started after a one-hour rain delay. President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and Thomas Burish, Charles and Jill Fischer Provost, welcomed the guests and introduced the speakers.
Salutatorian Harisa Spahić offered an invocation on behalf of the graduating class, and, in his valedictory address, Andrew Grose connected his early experiences as a drummer in the Notre Dame Marching Band to the joys and challenges of finding and creating one’s own rhythm — both academically and spiritually.
“After we started getting in step with Notre Dame, we began composing our futures,” Grose said. “We began to think critically about the issues that inspired us, like sustainable development, rare diseases and international affairs.”
Grose, a member of the Glynn Family Honors Program with double majors in preprofessional studies and Spanish, spoke about the comfort of finding his rhythm as a student — and also the productive discomfort he encountered during his summer service-learning trip to El Salvador. He and his teammates worked with a pediatric health nonprofit located near the Honduran border, and Grose was asked to lead a mom and toddler song time, which required him to summon lessons from Our Lady’s University about having faith and taking risks.
“When I finally stood before the circle of mothers and their grinning babies, the songs we sang together began to unlock a deeper rhythm within me,” he said. “As we shared in song, I also earned the trust of the patients we cared for.”
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