Higdon, who has served as president of Connecticut College since 2006, will retire at the end of this year. He said some members of the graduating class gave him a going away gift by serenading him at his home.
“Three o’clock was a little early,” he joked, “but as your parents taught you, it’s the thought that counts.”
Higdon said the Class of 2013 has been present at Connecticut College for numerous important events in the school’s history, including its centennial, opening of a newly renovated science center, and premiere of a residential fellows program. He said he also thinks the class has been successful in realizing the ideals he upheld when he was inaugurated as president.
“I said that the college prepares students for a complex world by teaching them to be active, engaged citizens,” said Higdon. “Our students develop a respect for knowledge, an ability to think and communicate clearly, to lead with intelligence and integrity, and to be socially responsible and globally focused. And as I look at your faces today, I see the embodiment of this vision and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Student speaker Amy Evelyn Cheetham recounted the passion she felt upon watching a sunrise in Chile while hiking, and thought back to the journey that brought her there. She said the students were put out of their comfort zone and into a new life when they first came to college, and will now do so again as they graduate.
Cheetham said the education received at Connecticut College will be the “most valuable tool” the students have in pursuing their careers. She also encouraged them to “never stop exploring.”
“Our biggest challenge is one we’ll face for the rest of our lives: to chase our passions and hold onto them for dear life,” she said.
The commencement speaker, Howard M. Gordon, has been a television writer and producer contributing to series such as The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Most recently, Gordon was co-creator of the show Homeland.
Gordon says his career choice came after he initially thought his only options were to pursue a career in medicine or law. He worked odd jobs while trying to get into the television business, eventually doing so when a producer—the father of a girl he was tutoring—invited him to start pitching ideas for episodes.
“I have yet to meet a successful person who hasn’t worked hard,” said Gordon. “So when you get lucky and someone opens a door for you, be ready to walk through it.”
The graduates earned 443 bachelor’s degrees and New London resident Alexandrea Marie Nobel was one of two people receiving a master of arts degree in psychology.
New London residents who received bachelor’s degrees included:
- Evan George Gray
- Eric Lloyd Johnson
- Ines Atugonza Muganyizi
- Pablo Jairo Tutillo
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.