Three College students selected to speak at 2023 Class Day

Jeremy Huang, Daphne de Beistegui and Ricky Holder will address graduates

University of Chicago fourth-year students Jeremy Huang, Daphne de Beistegui and Ricky Holder will deliver remarks to their fellow graduates as part of the College’s Class Day ceremony on June 2.

Each year, three students are selected to speak at Class Day, a tradition that celebrates the accomplishments of the College’s graduating class. This year’s ceremony will be webcast on the UChicago News site starting at 2 p.m. CT.

The celebration also will feature a keynote address from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bret Stephens, AB’95, and the presentation of College awards.

Jeremy Huang

Huang will graduate with bachelor’s degrees in economics and psychology, as well as a master’s in economics.

During his time in the College, Huang was on the track and field team and held leadership positions within the PhD Behavioral Economics Lab, Chicago Economics Forum + Behavioral Economics Association and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

Huang said he was inspired to write his speech when he walked by a campus tour and overheard a guide referring to Regenstein Library as “not the prettiest, but the most popular building on campus.” He reminisced on the memories he and his friends and peers have made in the library, and realized that all of the nights he spent studying there were wholly representative of his UChicago experience.

“By taking on ambitions that tend to push us to our limits, UChicago graduates are made better through the classmates and systems that push us onward,” he said. “I hope my speech will capture the Class of 2023’s shared ‘thank you’ to the school and, importantly, to each other.”

After graduation, he will move to New York and work with Prof. John List in Walmart’s Economics Department.

Daphne de Beistegui

de Beistegui will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Fundamentals: Issues and Texts, and a minor in physics. As well as dancing and acting through Performance Dance Company and University Theater, she edited for “The Point” magazine throughout her undergraduate career. 

de Beistegui’s relationship to learning and her own perfectionistic tendencies influenced her as she wrote her speech. As she wrote, she said she wanted to think through what kind of ending graduating represents—and how the relationship between her academic and personal development has evolved since she first arrived in Chicago.

“I hope my speech will give my peers the chance to collectively reflect on where the past four years have led us, what it means to learn and how we will continue to learn outside the walls of the institution,” she said.

This fall, she will return to the Earth Law Center, in Durango, Colo., where her work will involve drafting ecocentric laws and championing the rights of nature in court.

Ricky Holder

Holder will graduate with a bachelor’s in public policy studies. A Navy veteran and Marshall Scholar, Holder tailored his undergraduate experience to prepare him for a career in public service.

His ultimate goal is to build a world-class welfare system for American children in foster care, having spent the second half of his childhood in the system.

Holder said his inherent optimistic approach to life inspired him as he wrote his speech. He hopes he can spark a similar passion for service in all who listen.

“I hope that my speech inspires my peers to utilize their education to pursue a life of serving others,” he said. “No matter their particular career path, I want them to be agents of hope, to engage in the grand challenges of humanity, and to be good stewards of the education they received.”

Upon graduation, he will move to the United Kingdom to pursue an MPhil in Comparative Social Policy at the University of Oxford through the Marshall Scholarship.

A version of this story is published on the University of Chicago College website.