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Commencement 2014

by Jessica Evangelista Balduzzi ’05

“Heroes are not born out of glory and success. Heroes are born out of failure,” said Emmy-award winning writer, producer and director Bradley D. Falchuk ‘93, L.H.D ‘14, as he delivered the 2014 Commencement Address at Hobart and William Smith on Sunday, May 18. Commencement 2014 marked the 189th graduation for Hobart and the 103rd for William Smith. Falchuck, the co-creator, writer and executive producer of “Glee” and “American Horror Story,” told the graduates to “go forth and fail. Dream yourself to be the heroes your teachers, friends and family know you already are,” he said. “I think I speak for all of them when I say that I cannot wait to see your dreams come to life in the world.”

In his Valedictory Address, President Mark D. Gearan reflected on the meaning of the word empathy. “I believe it is something our world needs so much more of today,” he said. Gearan then pointed to the five Honorary Degree recipients as testimony to the power and importance of empathy.

During the ceremony, the Colleges conferred honorary Doctor of Humane Letters on five individuals who have devoted their careers and philanthropic efforts to the arts including Falchuck; Dr. Reynold Levy ‘66, former president of Lincoln Center; Dorothy Wickenden ‘76, executive editor of The New Yorker; and local civic leaders Nozomi Williams and Carl W. Fribolin.

Gearan concluded by reminding graduates that they are armed with a world class liberal arts education. “Use it well. Use it wisely. Use it with empathy – for other people and other perspectives.”

The Classes of 2014 included 289 William Smith and 217 Hobart undergraduates, as well as four MAT students and two Ontario ARC College Experience Certificates.