June 18, 2021
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Congratulations to the Class of 2021
June 18, 2021
Thank you, Chancellor Elsenbaumer.
Candidates, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the trustees of Indiana University, I am privileged to confer upon each of you the degrees recommended by the faculty, with all attendant rights and responsibilities.
I invite those of you who are earning your first degree to move the tassels on your caps to the left side to indicate that you are graduates.
Congratulations to each and every one of you.
Please be seated.
Towards the Extraordinary
Every one of you in the IU Fort Wayne Class of 2021—and there are 508 of you—graduate here today has a story.
Considering this milestone of commencement at the end of this very difficult year,
these are tales of triumph.
Some of you—like me—are first generation college students, and you have succeeded. Many of you have been fighting on the front lines of this global pandemic, and we are incredibly proud that you have also committed yourself to your education. I know we also have parents among our graduates, and I appreciate the responsibilities you have shouldered as you have worked hard for your degrees. Congratulations to all of you!
Thanks to Faculty and Staff, Families and Friends
You've reached this great milestone thanks to the outstanding teaching and support provided by the faculty and staff.
Class of 2021, would you please give a huge round of applause and cheers to your professors, advisors, and others on the faculty and staff who helped you reach this day?
I also want to congratulate and thank the families and friends who have supported our graduates along the way. You have played leading and vital roles in our graduates' stories.
Having seen both of my own sons graduate—one from IU and one from Purdue, I might add—I know how the families here today may be feeling right now.
I vividly remember when my sons earned their degrees. When they stood at their graduations and moved their tassels from one side to the other, they might not have realized the power and meaning of that one small act. For my wife and me, however, these were incredible moments of pride, happiness, and excitement that we will never forget, and I know you won't either.
They were also moments of anticipation as we thought about what the next chapters would hold for our sons.
For those graduates still living at home, your families may be anticipating the moment you move out.
I am certain they are anticipating a bright future for each and every one of you.
Considering all that your families and friends have done to support and care for you as you have pursued your degrees, graduates, would you all please rise and with loud cheers and applause show your appreciation and love for your parents, partners, spouses, friends, and family.
As your decisions build one upon another, we can—together—create a brighter future where knowledge eliminates ignorance, where respect outweighs bigotry, and where our children ... can grow up in a world where they feel safe, confident, and valued for the content of their characters.IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar
Writing the Next Chapters and Building the Future
As important as today is, of course, graduation is not the end.
Here you stand on the threshold of your future, so much of your sparkling stories yet to unfold.
What decisions await you in those next chapters?
Whatever they are, they will take courage and conviction, creativity and insight, determination and grit.
As your decisions build one upon another, we can—together—create a brighter future where knowledge eliminates ignorance, where respect outweighs bigotry, and where our children—no matter who they are—can grow up in a world where they feel safe, confident, and valued for the content of their characters.
I dream of this world that glitters with promise. Let's make this dream come true.
Once again, congratulations, IU Class of 2021, and always remember, you are extraordinary.