Volume 74, Number 2 | June 1- 7, 2005

Photos by Jerry Speier

Breyer: Participate; Kerrey: You did great

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, left, delivered the commencement address at New School University’s 69th commencement ceremony, at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 20. Breyer urged the graduates — whatever profession they choose — to “commit at least part of your energies to the public affairs of your communities and your nation…. Many doubt that our public institutions can promote change and justice,” he said. “But cynicism is no reason to opt out of public life — it is just a challenge that we as a society must overcome. If you do not trust the way our government works,” he told the graduates, “make it work better.” Bob Kerrey, New School president, praised the four-year students for persevering through the World Trade Center attack. “Your live’s stories were inexorably altered by 9/11,” he said. “You had the strength and the determination to remain faithful to your vocation as students. You faced whatever fears or whatever temptations to run away may have gripped your heart — and you stood firm. It is undoubtedly true,” Kerrey said, “that personal character is formed much more significantly by hardship than by ease. I see that truth validated in each of your faces.” At the ceremony, 2,463 degrees were conferred.

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