The class of 2009 celebrated its graduation at the 114th Ithaca College Commencement Ceremony this morning. The ceremony was the first for President Tom Rochon, who introduced guest speaker astronaut Jim Lovell.
With about 1690 undergraduate students, the six colleges presented degrees of Bachelor of the Arts, Bachelor of the Sciences and Bachelor of Music to the senior class. About 420 graduate students were awarded Master of the Sciences, Master of Business Administration, Master of Music, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of the Arts in Teaching degrees.
Lovell, who served as the commander of the Apollo 13 spacecraft that suffered an explosion as it headed toward the Moon in 1970, focused his address on the bigger picture for graduates. He encouraged the class of ’09 to create new inventions and solve world problems. Quoting famous children stories’ author Dr. Seuss, Lovell told graduates to think beyond what they have been taught.
“’In the places I go there are things that I see that I never could spell if I stopped with the Z,’” he said.