Snapshots and Time-Lapse Video: Worldwide Commencement Ceremonies Begin

| May 12, 2014
Congratulations, Webster University class of 2014 graduates!

Congratulations, Webster University Class of 2014!

The annual tradition of commencement ceremonies across Webster University’s worldwide network of campuses renewed this weekend, with ceremonies on May 10 including St. Louis and Geneva. Worldwide, the Class of 2014 includes 7,217 graduates from 115 different countries.

See more facts and figures on this year’s class — including the age of the youngest and oldest graduates — in this 2014 infographic.

The annual St. Louis commencement at The Muny is the largest of these annual celebrations, welcoming graduates and their guests, friends and families from the St. Louis campuses and as well as extended campus locations and online. Of the participants in the St. Louis ceremony, 150 came from extended campuses as far as China.

NBC on the Scene for Kondo, Webster Grads
Webster University Geneva celebrated its Annual Commencement Ceremony with 105 students from 50 nations.

Webster University Geneva celebrated its Annual Commencement Ceremony with 105 students from 50 nations.

The St. Louis commencement speaker was Koko Tanimoto Kondo, one of the youngest Hiroshima atomic bomb survivors and an internationally recognized peace advocate. “After the bomb, they said I would not make it,” she said. “But today I’m standing here in front of you. I’m still living!”

Kondo spread a message of peace and reconciliation with the audience at The Muny. “I ask you, do you have peace within you?” she said. “I am depending on you. You can make a better world. You can make peace.”

Kondo received an honorary doctorate from the University and is in town all week, with multiple speaking engagements at Webster.

The longtime baseball fan will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game Monday, May 12, at 7:10 p.m. Meanwhile, she will participate in one more event at Webster on Tuesday: “This Is Your Life, Koko Tanimoto Kondo: Celebrating personal and societal transformative learning,” presented by School of Education professor Roy Tamashiro, at 6:15 p.m. in the East Academic Building.

Webster welcomed a reporter from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams to Saturday’s ceremony at The Muny. She interviewed students and captured footage for their annual commencement round-up story featuring universities across the country. The story will air Thursday, May 29, so set your DVRs!

During the conferral of degrees, Provost Julian Schuster led the grads in a shout of “We are the Class of 2014” for the NBC cameras.

The formal addresses from the day all complemented the themes explored by Kondo.

Webster trustee Paul Lee opened the ceremony with words of inspiration, urging graduates to be “givers” rather than “takers” in reference to the recent book, “Give and Take” by Adam Grant.

In her remarks, President Beth Stroble quoted the Dalai Lama XIV: “‘Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.’ As a Webster University graduate, you have the ability to find that common bond of humanity that seeks peace within yourself and with others through dialogue, education, and knowledge. You are now equipped to be a truly global citizen.”

Provost Schuster referenced the remarks of the pilot who asked, “My God, what have we done?” after the atomic bomb was used for the first time: “Let us ensure that we never ask that question again,” Schuster said. “Let’s ensure that, faced with challenges, we count to ten, employ our collective knowledge, skills and competencies and work for peace. At the end of the day, our goal is to look back on how we faced seemingly insurmountable problems and say, with pride, ‘Look what we have done.’”

Commencement Photos

Photos from St. Louis and other commencement ceremonies will continue to pour in throughout the summer. For a preview:

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Category: International & U.S. Campuses, St. Louis Campus News, Student Affairs and News, Webster News

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