On Saturday, the campus-wide graduation took place in William & Mary Hall. This year’s commencement speaker was the renowned newsman and writer Walter Isaacson who in the past has served as CEO and chairman of CNN, and is now president of the Aspen Institute, whose goal is "fostering enlightened leadership, the appreciation of timeless ideas and values, and open-minded dialogue on contemporary issues". Mr. Isaacson challenged the College’s graduates to not only pursue their passions in life, but to also connect those passions to larger issues confronting society and the world. Moreover, he emphasized the need to be not only successful people, but also good people, and to strive to positively affect the lives of as many as possible. Sounds like good advice to me, especially the part about trying to be good people!
On Sunday, we had our departmental ceremony at Trinkle Hall where we handed out more than 120 diplomas to graduates of our department along with a few others from Neuroscience. We were blessed with terrific weather on Sunday and everything went without a hitch. This year’s Major of the Year award went to Mr. Matt Adan by a unanimous vote by the faculty. I know Matt well as I have been fortunate enough to have him work in my lab throughout his career here at William & Mary. He is an outstanding student and a young man. Incredibly, he graduate with a perfect GPA of 4.0 while taking the challenging pre-med curriculum. Matt will be attending medical school at Columbia University in the fall; I’m sure he’ll do great things there, too and make us all proud! His speech can be found in the News articles.