The Class of 2016 became Colgate University’s newest group of alumni last weekend. A series of special events and honored guests hailed the students’ accomplishments and the impact they’ve had on the university’s history.

“Colgate has changed over the years, and so will you — sometimes change will be forced upon you, sometimes you may reach out for it,” said Interim President Jill Harsin in her address during commencement on Sunday. “We are confident that you have the solid foundation to meet and embrace every change; and we wish for the very best for all of you as you set out on this wonderful journey.”

Quoting baseball greats Lou Brock, Joe Torre, and Jackie Robinson, commencement speaker and Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred P’16 encouraged graduates to take risks, learn from adversity, and treat others with respect. (Manfred came with more than words of advice. He also brought presents: Major League Baseball hats for the entire graduating class.)

Read a full transcript of the commencement address on the news blog. Watch the speech — and the awarding of six honorary doctorates — below or visit Colgate’s Livestream archive.

“Be patient with yourself, and kind to your own journey,” said baccalaureate speaker Omid Safi, professor of Middle Eastern studies and director of the Islamic Studies Center at Duke University.

On Saturday afternoon, Safi reminded students that Jesus was 30 years old before he became the Christ, Siddhartha was 35 before he became the Buddha, and Muhammad was 40 before he became the Prophet. “Success is not a linear climb up a mountain. Life is really messy, and every single one of us stumbles and falls flat on our face multiple times.”

Watch Safi’s full speech below or via our Livestream archive.

In the Class of 2016:
– 677 undergraduates received the Bachelor of Arts degree
– More than 150 students earned departmental honors or high honors
– Forty-eight students were elected to Phi Beta Kappa

The class valedictorian is neuroscience major Rachel Louise Goldberg of Westlake Village, Calif., and the salutatorian is physics major Sean Benjamin Foster of Boxborough, Mass.

You can see photos of our graduating seniors below or on our Flickr site.

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