The College of Arts & Sciences Dean Gretchen Ritter implored members of the Class of 2020 to make the world a better place and think about their role in Cornell’s “unfinished symphony” during her convocation speech Aug. 20, which included several references to the popular Broadway musical “Hamilton.”
There is no better place than Cornell, Ritter said, for an undergrad to contemplate who they are and think about what they will contribute as a citizen of the world.
“Who among you will help to reweave our frayed civic bonds, help us to imagine new ways to address autism, or solve the riddle of what causes Alzheimer’s,” she said.
“Who among you will create the plays, poems, or images that reveal our common stake in forging a future that is less divided by differences of income, religion, race or nationality?
“Who among you will design new approaches to channel our collective, but unorganized, desire to address climate change and build a green economy that can scale to replace our dependence on fossil fuels?
“Cornell’s story is America’s story, and we are in this great ‘unfinished symphony’ together.”