Chancellor Carol Christ gave opening remarks on the 2019 winter graduation ceremony on Saturday. (UC Berkeley video by Instructional Expertise Providers)

Now, on the cusp of Life After School — a phrase I all the time think about in all caps — you enter a world that is each filled with unimaginable risk in addition to rife with intractable issues,” Chancellor Carol Christ informed 650 graduates at Saturday’s winter graduation throughout her opening remarks, shared under. “Issues which might be pervasive, which have many dimensions, that span nationwide borders, that don’t care about partisan traces. However I do know you’ll not retreat from these challenges. You’ll face them head-on — simply as you’ve been doing right here at Cal.”

Proud mother and father, grandparents, brothers and sisters, youngsters, and different household and buddies of our graduates — welcome to the College of California, Berkeley.

Welcome to the various devoted school, workers, alumni, and honored company who’re with us right this moment — together with our keynote speaker, Robert D. Haas, from the category of 1964.

And welcome, particularly, to these now we have gathered right here to rejoice: the members of UC Berkeley’s extraordinary graduating Class of 2019.

Sitting right here, you all are little question experiencing a mixture of aid, elation, marvel, and apprehension. However as well as to all that, I hope you maintain a eager sense of accomplishment, for you might have accomplished a demanding course of research on the nation’s greatest public college. In the present day, you be a part of and renew the lengthy line of alumni reaching again 151 years whose lives are perpetually intertwined with this establishment. In the present day, you turn out to be considered one of almost 500,000 residing alumni world-wide who can proudly name themselves UC Berkeley graduates.

Your complete Cal group is happy with your achievements, however right this moment, nobody is prouder than the household and buddies who’ve stood by you with their love, understanding, and assist. Let’s have a spherical of applause for them.

Members of the Class of 2019, you might have come by way of Berkeley at an historic time in our nation and the world.

Your class noticed the strongest girl presidential candidate in U.S. historical past … finally delivered a shocking defeat, in an election that upended American politics. You’ve since witnessed probably the most pitched political battles we’ve seen in many years — over taxes, Supreme Courtroom nominees, election meddling, commerce offers, a border wall, and even impeachment. 

In your time right here, the nationwide dialog has been framed by pressing and probing problems with race, class, justice, and equality … because the Black Lives Matter motion challenged institutional racism in legislation enforcement, because the #MeToo motion toppled abusive males in positions of energy, and as a brand new and extra numerous slate of elected officers took workplace.

When you’ve been on campus, issues about cybersecurity, modifications within the media we devour, and questions on privateness rights have requested us to rethink {our relationships} to now-ubiquitous new expertise and modes of communication.

Whereas at Berkeley, you noticed folks and nations spring into motion to reply to humanitarian crises in Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, but additionally noticed disdain for immigrants and refugees take maintain right here and across the world. You noticed acts of terror that renewed disputes about gun rights. You noticed pure disasters in South Asia, Puerto Rico, California, and the Amazon, and the discussions about wealth, energy, and accountability that accompanied them. You noticed a regime change within the UK over Brexit. You noticed protests within the streets of Hong Kong. You noticed each setbacks and steps ahead in our international response to the existential menace of local weather change. 

UC Berkeley has all the time been a part of the general public sphere, and plenty of of those occasions touched our campus, or had analogues right here. It is a defining high quality of our college students that you don’t sit idly by if you see battle or injustice, whether or not within the bigger world or domestically. You replicate on the problems at hand, take into account options, and confront issues in all their complexity, and with all their deep and enduring issue.

As certainly as this establishment has left its mark you, then, you might have left your mark on Berkeley. For if you noticed the necessity for change right here, you seized it — and our college is richer and higher to your efforts. 

It was your classmates within the Black Pupil Union who had been behind the creation of the Fannie Lou Hamer Useful resource Middle and those who helped craft the African American Initiative, which is now working to enhance our campus local weather for black college students. It was the work of survivors and scholar advocates amongst you who helped this college take a look at the way it handles circumstances of sexual assault and harassment, and make enhancements. You modeled power and resolve in assist of our undocumented scholar inhabitants as they had been villainized by nationwide leaders. You pushed our establishment to put sustainability on the fore, making us the biggest college to commit to 100% clear vitality. Your advocacy in Sacramento helped legislators higher worth our establishment; your work by way of bridges recruitment and retention facilities helped usher in and convey up these from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented on school campuses; and your organizing helped create the Berkeley Fundamental Wants Middle. You helped us learn the way we’d reconcile a dedication to group alongside a perception within the college’s position as a public discussion board, open even to viewpoints we’d discover abhorrent … and also you joined us in efforts to use dialogue, not violence, to bridge the partisan divide.

I don’t imagine that Berkeley is a bubble, because it is typically known as, however I do really feel that on this campus we share a small and bounded world that every of us can affect, form and make completely different by what we do and say. And you haven’t been shy to accomplish that.

Now, on the cusp of Life After School — a phrase I all the time think about in all caps — you enter a world that is each filled with unimaginable risk in addition to rife with intractable issues … issues which might be pervasive, which have many dimensions, that span nationwide borders, that don’t care about partisan traces. However I do know you’ll not retreat from these challenges. You’ll face them head-on — simply as you’ve been doing right here at Cal.

Graduates: Congratulations in your achievements, thanks for working in partnership to assist Berkeley turn out to be the place we want it to be, and welcome to the subsequent chapter of your lives.

Could the schooling you might have acquired right here serve not simply yourselves however your society effectively. Could your years forward be richly rewarding and fulfilling, and should you take pleasure in a lot happiness. The world is now yours to form — make it a spot of grace, justice, and wonder. Good luck, and Go Bears!