The weather was perfect as Trinity awarded 393 bachelor’s and master’s degrees on Sunday, May 20, in northeast Washington. Nearly 4,000 guests gathered for the celebration at which Barbara Lang, President and CEO of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, the largest business organization in the region, gave the Commencement address. She was awarded an honorary doctor of laws.
Barbara Lang’s message to the graduates was hearfelt and clear: follow your own path, determine your own definition of success, and give back to others. She spoke of her own journey, conquering adversity and often taking a different path from others.
“The years of hard work, of sacrifice, of diligently pursuing your education, have finally come to fruition,” she said. “This ceremony today represents the successful completion of a journey begun long ago, spanning back to your first day of school, to the first time you picked up a book and began to read, to the first time you realized, ‘I want to be somebody.’ Many of you have overcome great adversity to reach this place: poverty, discrimination, sexism and prejudice. For some, competing priorities monopolized your time, like raising a family and going to work. For others, you struggled to assert your independence, embracing your adulthood for the first time. Each of you sacrificed in your own way, took your own unique path, and yet you’ve all arrived at the same destination: graduation day, at Trinity.”
Lang closed her remarks with important advice to the graduates. “I want to leave you with one last piece of advice that I’ve benefited from my whole life: Give back! You are all tremendously gifted and talented. And those talents can go a long way towards helping those in need in our community. I’m sure you’re all aware of the challenges facing our kids in public schools-the same schools that many of you attended. I encourage you all to use your skills and expertise to help our youth, to provide mentoring and tutoring to those who need it most…. Live your lives with integrity, discipline and an open heart. Remember the lessons you’ve learned-from your parents, your teachers, your role-models and your friends-and venture out into the world, armed with the knowledge that you can succeed.”
Barbara Lang’s Commencement Address
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President McGuire’s Remarks
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