2017 UCLA College Commencement

Pauley Pavilion 

June 16, 2017

It is my honor, on behalf of all of us at UCLA, to congratulate the Class of 2017!

We know how hard you’ve worked. We know the sacrifices you’ve made. And your hard work has paid off.   

Today, you are graduating from one of the best universities in the world, and, of course I am not biased about that assessment! Most importantly, you are ready for whatever comes next.

I’m not going to give you advice on what your next steps should be. The truth is: and you know this, there’s no one right answer.

Your years at UCLA, the friendships you’ve made, the passions you’ve discovered and the lessons you’ve learned, will help you in ways you — or I — can’t even imagine.

The one thing I’m sure of — the only thing I can say with confidence — is that you are ready. I have no doubt. 

So instead of sharing advice, or telling you all that I think UCLA has done for you, I want to turn the table around. I want to take this moment to thank you for everything you’ve done for UCLA. Because with every graduating class, this university is made better.

Each class leaves an indelible impression on our campus, one that lasts for decades. Long after you’ve graduated, we will continue to feel your influence, and be grateful for your contributions.

When you saw a need, you offered a helping hand. When you saw a wrong, you made it right. And when you saw injustice, you stood up against it.

And today, thanks to you, thanks to your spirit, thanks to your passion and your sense of community, we are all better for it. 

I truly believe this is a better university than even a decade ago. And much of that improvement has been due to you, our students.

So on behalf of all of us on this stage, I’m grateful for your commitment to building a better university for the generations that will follow you.

Now, it’s time for you to take that same spirit of determination, that love for community, that insatiable need to better the world around you, everywhere you go.

Bruins can do anything.

And starting tomorrow, on your first day as alumni, the good work you do in your careers and in our community will continue to make our university stronger, because we are forever linked. Our success is your success, and your triumphs are our triumphs.

In a few moments, you will be entering a community of 500,000 alumni spread out across the globe. Wherever you are, seek other Bruins out, help each other, look out for one another and stay connected with us. We have an impressive and successful alumni network, made even better by you today, Class of 2017.

Enjoy the rest of your commencement, and I hope to see you back on campus soon.