Celebration was on the agenda for thousands of new graduates at commencement ceremonies Monday
The more than 7,800 students who graduated from Arizona State University on Monday must be ready for a rapidly changing world, ASU’s president said.
As family and friends filled Wells Fargo Arena for the undergraduate commencement on Monday morning, Michael Crow told the newly minted graduates: “I have one final lesson for our students, and that lesson is: Prepare for change.”
ASU graduated nearly 5,700 undergraduates and more than 2,100 graduate students this semester, including 625 Sun Devils who are the first to graduate from the newly renamed Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. The graduate commencement was Monday afternoon.
“You need to prepare for the rapid advance of our democratic ideas of equality and justice and liberty,” Crow said.
“We’re not in a moment of weakness or retreat. We’re not in a moment where our democracy is not advancing. It is, in fact, just the opposite,” he said.
Rylee Rodriguez gets smooches from her parents, David and Dawn Rodriguez, before the fall 2018 undergraduate commencement on Monday. The Moeur Award winner received a BA in design studies.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Susan Beiner carries in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts' gonfalon at the fall 2018 undergraduate commencement.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Music theatre graduate Angelica McGrew sings the national anthem at fall 2018 undergrad commencement.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
ASU President Michael Crow speaks to the undergraduate graduating class of fall 2018. Crow gave the commencement speech, urging students to look forward to and embrace the future.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
Construction management bachelors (from left) Tyler Charles, Grant Brown and Michael Minter listen to President Crow's address at undergraduate commencement.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Graduates from the College of Nursing and Health Innovation are all smiles at undergraduate commencement on Monday.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
Sean McElroy, graduating with a degree in sustainability, stands during graduation to be recognized by University Provost Mark Searle for his exemplary scholarly performance at ASU.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
Du Li (right), graduating with a degree in business communication, applauds fellow students at the fall 2018 undergraduate graduation ceremony.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
Merican Stitts, graduating with a degree in operations management, stands to be recognized as an outstanding graduate of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
Starbucks College Achievement Plan scholar Leticia Nolda of Los Angeles beams during undergraduate commencement. She earned her bachelor's degree in integrated sciences and arts.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Valentina Riveros (center) looks for her parents at undergraduate commencement. She received her BFA in art education.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Maroon and gold balloons dropping from the ceiling of Wells Fargo Arena signal the end of undergraduate commencement.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
Starbucks College Achievement Plan scholars Kyle Ashford (left) of California and David Kallemyn of Iowa pose for pictures at the fall 2018 undergraduate commencement.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Aubari Goines poses for pictures with flowers from her family after commencement. She earned a BA in interdisciplinary studies.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Shelby Smith wears her Disney-themed cap at the undergraduate ceremony Monday morning at Wells Fargo Arena. She earned a BA in psychology and a minor in criminology.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Someday has arrived for Antonina North, who earned her BA in journalism.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Emily Santora, who received her BA in global health, sports a "Gilmore Girls"-themed cap at commencement.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Johnathon Orrell may have taken a longer route to commencement, but he made it, graduating with a BA in mass communication and media studies.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
“All voices are on the table. That’s why we’re hearing so much arguing. This is all good.”
The new graduates should also prepare for a smaller world.
“Smaller not in the physical sense but smaller in a connected sense, where we will have to both compete and cooperate with everyone else,” Crow said, citing the decline in worldwide poverty and the increase in literacy.
And the new graduates need to be ready for the acceleration of technology, he said.
“This change, if done correctly, will transform our species. It will enable billions of people to have a life of greater fulfillment.
“The final lesson is this: Let’s get it right. It will be up to you all.”
Time-lapse by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Larry Penley of the Arizona Board of Regents echoed Crow’s theme of optimism.
“You graduate from this great university in a time of much promise,” he said.
“I know there are those who cry out some pessimism about our future, but neither President Crow nor I are among those individuals and neither should you be.”
Still, for some students, graduation is a bittersweet moment. Jiayu Li, who earned a bachelor’s of fine arts in photography from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, walked out of Wells Fargo Arena after the traditional balloon drop and took off her graduation cap, which she had decorated with a bow that featured Sparky. She said she’ll miss her time at ASU.
“I will miss the whole environment — my friends, my professors,” said Li, who’s searching for internship opportunities.
“The teachers are really nice. That’s mostly what I will miss.”
Claudia Agbor-Bessem gets some help adjusting her cap before the graduate ceremony. She earned an MS in health care delivery.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Michelle Govani (center) and Alesia Prakapenka peek around their gonfalons before the ceremony Monday.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Andrew Peck, who received his master's degree in music, performs the national anthem at the 2018 fall graduate commencement ceremony Monday afternoon.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
ASU President Michael Crow gives the commencement speech, encouraging master's degree and doctoral graduates to make use of their education by embracing change as they move forward in their careers.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
Jennifer Zamudio, who earned a Master of Social Work, gives the peace sign to people in the stands Monday afternoon.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
Clinical Assistant Professor Sue Dahl Popolizio places a hood on Daniel Colver at the graduate ceremony. Colver earned a doctorate in behavioral health.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Donna Myers, who earned a doctorate in behavioral health, receives her hood Monday.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Regents' Professor James Gee shakes hands with Kewman Lee, who received his doctorate in education.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
Sefatullah Mohammady, who received his master's degree in construction management, waves after walking across the stage at the graduate commencement ceremony.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
Nusrat Islam waits to walk across the stage to shake hands with ASU President Michael Crow during the 2018 fall graduate commencement ceremony. She received her master's degree in mechanical engineering.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
Jose Rubalcaba celebrates receiving his master's degree in education with his 2-year-old daughter, Giana, outside Wells Fargo Arena on Monday. The father took the coursework online.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Geology Professor Steven Semken snaps a photo of Angel Garcia (left) and Tom Ruberto after the ceremony Monday. Garcia earned his doctorate and Ruberto his master's degree, both in geological sciences.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Physics Professor Michael Thorpe poses with his new doctorates, Varda Faghir Hagh (left) and Mahdi Sadjadi.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Jessica McIntosh, an online student from Temecula, California, credits her family's support for seeing her through her MA in English.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Ashley Harmon celebrates her second ASU degree, a Master's of Advance Study in marriage and family therapy,Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Noelle Franks celebrates her MS in family and human development at the graduate ceremony Monday.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now