“As you bring the brainy, questioning UChicago style to your future endeavors, I’m confident that you’ll also bring the heart of the engaged University of Chicago as well—our collective commitment to help others and to make our society a better one,” Alivisatos said.
The Convocation ceremony was part of a three-day celebration that also included Class Day, which recognizes the accomplishments of College graduates, along with diploma ceremonies in the University’s schools and divisions. Bestselling author Samira Ahmed, AB’93, MAT’93, spoke at Class Day on Friday, along with fourth-year students David Liang, Zara Malik and Allison Mattessich.
Jacob Wolf, a fourth-year who majored in physics, chemistry and molecular engineering, was excited to participate in Convocation following the stress and uncertainty of recent years. He hopes to soon work as a software engineer. “Things feel normal again, and that’s good,” Wolf said.
Danny Michael, who received a master’s degree from the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice, talked about how proud he felt—both for himself and his fellow graduates. He is currently considering offers to work as a clinical counselor or psychotherapist.
In addition to the Class of 2022, this year’s ceremony welcomed graduates from 2020 and 2021. Among those who returned was Zhaodi Pan, SM’16, PhD’20, now a physicist and fellow at the UChicago-affiliated Argonne National Laboratory. Two years after watching his virtual Convocation ceremony while holding his baby, Pan relished the opportunity to celebrate in person.
“I really enjoy being here,” said Pan, who is now conducting research on the cosmic microwave background, the oldest light in the universe.
The University-wide Convocation ceremony on Saturday included remarks from Prof. Wendy L. Freedman, this year’s faculty speaker. A renowned cosmologist who led the team that made a landmark measurement in 2001 of the Hubble constant—the rate at which the universe is expanding—Freedman began her speech by outlining a brief history of the universe, along with our attempts to understand it.