OBERLIN — “Irrational optimism is a prerequisite for success,” Dr. Thomas R. Frieden advised a crowd of sweltering college graduates-to-be Monday morning.
Irrational optimism would be the only thing to get these graduating seniors through the oppressive heat and out into the big world awaiting them as the 179th class of Oberlin College took the commencement walk through Oberlin’s Tappan Square.
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Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov, Dean Sean Decatur and Dean David Stull presided over the ceremonies, conferring degrees on 715 students, including 15 who graduated from Lorain County.
Words about careers, kindness and success were among the advice given Monday as students from across the map stepped off of Oberlin’s campus for the last time.
“Look for opportunities for kindness all around you,” said Senior Class President Jackie Mostow. Be creative, be kind and be appreciative were Mostow’s three suggestions for her peers.
On the other end of the spectrum, some fatherly advice was dispensed by Krislov: “Don’t expect your bosses to let you turn in incomplete work.”
Remain open to the challenges that the world will bring, said Thomas R. Friedan, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, who gave the commencement speech. And, of course, always remain optimistic.
Mostow said she was particularly impressed with this class’ spirit.
“There was never really any competition,” she said. “The class is made up of very wonderful people — very supportive and optimistic.”
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