Roses, balloons, teddy bears in academic robes, tams wreathed in flowers, proud families from around the world, sleeping babies, a dog or two—even Oprah. All that filled the Academic Quad on commencement day. And there was joy as seniors raised their diplomas in triumph.
With celebration came advice. Commencement speaker Lulu Chow Wang ’66—one of the world’s most influential women in investments and philanthropy—reflected on her career as a Wall Street pioneer. Remembering her mother as a model for successful living, she said: “She did not waste any time on regrets and second-guessing herself. She always said, ‘Do your best and leave the rest.’ She knew that it was important to cope with disappointments, to know how to respond to them and take what good you could from them—to be resilient. Setbacks should not discourage us. Every one of them offers a lesson.”
President H. Kim Bottomly—presiding over her last commencement—gave her charge to the “ruby red class of 2016.” She urged the seniors not to be concerned if their post-Wellesley plans were not yet firm: “As you leave Wellesley, you may not know where you will go from here. And that’s OK. I don’t know exactly where I will go from here, either. Let’s take a deep breath and recognize that we are OK. Let’s just take what we’ve learned here into the world.” And then she added, “And let’s agree on this—it is going to be great.”