Erin Blasko | May 21, 2018
The University of Notre Dame Graduate School held its annual Commencement Ceremony Saturday (May 19) at Compton Family Ice Arena, handing out 286 doctoral degrees and 500 master’s degrees and presenting several awards to distinguished members of the Graduate School community.
Louise Richardson, the first female vice-chancellor of Oxford University, delivered the commencement address, lamenting the elevation of emotion over truth in personal and political discourse and appealing to the graduates to “insist on reason and evidence as the basis for your judgments and decisions.”
To that end, she stressed the importance of higher education in fostering within current and future generations of young men and women an understanding of the value of critical thinking and “intellectual self-reliance.”
“It’s never been more important for universities to represent and inculcate a respect for reflection and delay, to distinguish between the evidence-based and the fabricated,” said Richardson, an Irish political scientist who previously served as St. Andrews University’s first female principal and vice-chancellor.
In a world increasingly divided by class, Richardson expressed her belief that “education remains the best engine of social mobility that we have,” and her hope that, throughout their careers, the graduates would “remain committed advocates for education as a source for social mobility.”
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