Celebration of Black Graduates

Breathing Life into Hopes and Dreams

May 12, 2022
Indiana Convention Center
Indianapolis, Indiana


Thank you for that kind introduction, and thank you all for being here tonight to celebrate our IUPUI Black graduates in the Class of 2022.

A Chorus of Thanks

As I look around tonight at this full house, I am delighted to see so many people together celebrating our outstanding Black graduates at IUPUI. I am incredibly proud of every single one of you.

Let’s hear it for the Class of 2022

Our graduates would not be here tonight without the love and support of their family and friends. Would our graduates please give a big round of applause to your families and friends?

I would also like to acknowledge the IUPUI Black Faculty and Staff Council and especially event co-chairs Ms. Tonya Shelton and Ms. Ginny Washington for all that they have done to make this evening possible. Would you join me in another round of applause thanking the council?

I would also like to say a special word of thanks to our volunteers this evening. Would you join me in thanking them as well?

It's About Time

Just one month ago, we marked a day of hope and promise in American history. That day, Ketanji Brown Jackson was named the 116th Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. By Justice Jackson’s own calculations, it had taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve in this auspicious capacity.

And many people joined together to say, it’s about time.

In her celebratory speech upon her confirmation, Justice Jackson expressed her gratitude to those who broke the path upon which she pushed forward, as she says, “bringing the gifts my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave.”

I dwell on this moment because—for me—it serves as a beacon lighting the way to the future.

And just as that day a little over a month ago was one of hope and promise so too is today as we celebrate our Black graduates of IUPUI.

You, too, carry the hopes and dreams of those who came before you, and over the years you have been working on your degrees, you have breathed life into those hopes and dreams as you have shaped your skills in analysis and reasoning, argument and logic.

IUPUI Interim Chancellor Andrew R. Klein

Breathing Life into Hopes and Dreams

This Class of 2022 has accomplished so much, and I know it hasn’t been easy. College at any level isn’t designed to be easy. And the last two years have been made a great deal more challenging as a result of the pandemic. Members of this Class of 2022 have survived so much, including the worst global health crisis in a century.

With determination and strength, you have pushed through this crisis—and certainly many others—pressed through doubt and insecurity, built your confidence and skills, and stepped into the light of this beautiful moment where you are meeting your futures.