Vanderbilt awards nearly 3,500 degrees at Commencement

Watch video of Commencement 2010 .

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos urged Vanderbilt University’s newest graduates to work hard, be passionate and always reserve time for learning.

“It is true that you are inheriting a world that currently has big problems to fix,” Zeppos told the Class of 2010 in his Commencement address. “You are also inheriting a world that has problems not yet imagined…. Here in Nashville, we have all just experienced one of those unimagined problems, a 1,000-year flood that has devastated parts of our city and nearby regions.

“You will not be able to solve every problem. Nobody is. But I am confident that you will bring your very best talents to bear on many of them and help clarify the way toward great solutions.”

Vanderbilt awarded 3,494 degrees this year, 1,583 to undergraduates and 1,911 from its graduate and professional schools. The Commencement ceremony on Alumni Lawn capped three days of events celebrating graduates and their families.

“It is always possible to make a place for learning in your life and to feel passionate about what you are learning to do,” Zeppos said. “Work hard at whatever intrigues and animates you.”

Zeppos hailed a spirit of “intergenerational equity and responsibility” that connected the generations of students who’ve passed through the university.

“All the Vanderbilt generations before you will be blessed with new meaning, and all the generations that follow you will be enriched by your example,” he said.

Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873 and initially financed by a $1 million bequest from New York industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt to help heal the wounds of the Civil War. Today, Vanderbilt is a private research university comprised of 10 schools, a distinguished medical center, a public policy center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development as well as a full range of graduate and professional degrees. The university is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 universities by publications such as U.S. News & World Report, with several programs and disciplines ranking in the top 10.

Visit the Commencement website for photos, information and more .

Media contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS