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8,000 Attend Commencement At Notre Dame Indoors Due To Weather

University of Notre Dame

Commencement at Notre Dame was held earlier on Sunday and moved indoors due to weather.  Here is the university's recap of the event:

The University of Notre Dame celebrated its 174thCommencement Ceremony Sunday (May 19) at the Joyce Center, rather than Notre Dame Stadium, due to inclement weather. An audience of more than 8,000 family members, friends, faculty and graduates attended.

President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and Thomas Burish, Charles and Jill Fischer Provost, welcomed the guests and introduced the speakers.

Introducing commencement speaker Peggy Noonan, Jenkins said the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and columnist is “fully capable of rapier wit and wisdom in the dismantling of a worthy opponent ... but nonetheless never resorts to the vulgarity or character assassination that too often passes for legitimate criticism these days. She remains patriotic, without being chauvinistic. She believes in common decency, but is not naive. She is a critic who seeks common ground.”

Noonan began her speech by highlighting a special feature of this year’s commencement ceremony.

“I note a remarkable thing. To begin with, this institution is 177 years old ... but, in all those years, it has never happened that the salutatorian, valedictorian and commencement speaker were all women,” Noonan said. “It’s a delight to be with these strong, smart women who along with the strong, smart men make this University the great thing that it is.”

For much of her address, Noonan focused on the fractured state of the country.

“I believe America needs help right now and America knows it. The reasons are so obvious that we’ve almost stopped saying them. We’ve been living through an ongoing cultural catastrophe for the last 30 years,” she said. “America is a torn-up, wounded place in need of repair. I’m not fussy about where the repair comes from and I don’t think the American people are either. They just want it to come soon.”

She urged graduates to be far-sighted and to see America’s real plight while working together with people who don’t necessarily share the same political views — urging the best of conservatism and liberalism to prevail.

“Whatever holds us together now is good and necessary and must be encouraged — whatever it takes,” she said. “The secret of successful politics is to be moved more by what you love than what you hate.”

Salutatorian and St. Louis native Annelise Gill-Wiehl, an environmental engineering major, delivered the invocation on behalf of the graduating class asking for God’s guidance as they go out into the world and “pursue work for the betterment of humanity.” Gill-Wiehl was awarded the Rev. Thomas A. Steiner Award in the College of Engineering, recognizing her for excellence and commitment to engineering and to the common good, and she was also named Notre Dame’s John W. Gardner Student Leadership Award recipient for exemplifying the ideals of the University through outstanding volunteer service beyond campus. She will pursue a doctorate in energy resources at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sofia Carozza, a neuroscience and behavior major with a supplemental major in theology and a minor in philosophy, politics and economics, delivered the valedictory address. A Marshall Scholarship recipient, Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar, Glynn Family Honors Scholar and a de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture Sorin Fellow, Carozza will pursue a Master of Philosophy in basic and translational neuroscience leading into a doctorate in psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. She focused on three lessons she learned throughout her undergraduate education: addressing the mind, body and spirit; risking everything for others; and living reality intensely.

“Because saying ‘yes’ to a Notre Dame education has changed everything for us,” said Carozza, a native of South Bend. “It’s taught us how to live a truly human life. Only through sacrifice will we find fulfillment. We become truly human by giving of ourselves, by pouring ourselves out in love — no matter our chosen career. We are going forward from Notre Dame not as bystanders, but as protagonists of justice and mercy. So we must risk everything.”

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