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Northwestern University

Weinberg Bids a Fond Farewell to Its Class of 2013

Larry Irving WCAS76 delivering the 2013 Senior Convocation keynote

Larry Irving '76

The Weinberg College senior class enjoyed a ceremonious send-off at Convocation on Saturday, June 22, at Ryan Field in Evanston.

Dean Sarah Mangelsdorf thanked the Class of 2013 for its hard work in completing a "challenging course of study" and for broad accomplishments in faculty-mentored research and civic involvement.

"I urged you to explore, to meet new people, to take courses in topics you had never even heard of prior to coming here, to join student organizations and become involved," Mangelsdorf said. "And you did all of that."

Keynote speaker Larry Irving '76, president and CEO of The Irving Group and an architect of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, shared what an early mentor, Congressman Mickey Leland, had told him -- "think global, think big" -- and encouraged graduates to seek mentors to help them in their professional life. Irving also urged them to pursue their passions but to focus on the ones for which they had aptitude as well as enthusiasm.

"You are never too young to make a difference," Irving said. "Don't sit on the sidelines during this time of change."

The most re-tweeted of Irving's remarks involved coping with inevitable failures in life. "When you lose, and you will lose in life, get up off the floor, fight back, and fight back harder," he said.

Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro spoke about the value of keeping college friends close throughout life, calling these friendships the "highest return of any kind of investment you can make."

The speakers' remarks were followed by the procession of seniors to the stage to receive Mangelsdorf's congratulations -- and their diploma box. The actual diplomas were distributed immediately following the roughly two-hour ceremony.

Watch a video of Irving's Address (YouTube)

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