A campus tour typically kicks off a student’s college career. However, graduates at the 2014 Ohio State Summer Commencement concluded their time at OSU with one as well.
Former interim President Joseph Alutto used his address at Sunday’s ceremony in the Schottenstein Center to convince attendants not to fear the future in the name of the current graduating class.
His approach centered on a virtual, imaginative tour of OSU, describing to more than 1,000 graduates in attendance the history and achievements made within the walls of the Fisher College of Business, Ohio Stadium, the engineering buildings, the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library and the Ohio Union, among other campus staples.
“I believe buildings and their designs…are enabling devices,” Alutto said. “As a result, you can tell a great deal about a university’s commitment and its aspirations through its buildings.”
Alutto’s final statement asserted his enthusiasm for the graduating class and their impact on the future.
“Based on what we know, we know that deep in (the graduates’) hearts, truly in their DNA, they are open to embracing new ideas but accept accountability in reality,” Alutto concluded.
Almost 1,800 graduates received diplomas during OSU’s 407th commencement, including 266 doctoral and 450 masters degrees.
Graduate Melvin Corbin, who received a degree in science and education Sunday, said Alutto’s address was evocative.
“I love this campus, and (Alutto’s speech) basically was like a walk through time,” Melvin said. “It took me back to freshman year, walking to all these buildings, all the classrooms. It was just a little surreal. “
Dominique Limoli, who received her doctorate in biomedical science Sunday, expressed that Alutto’s “tour” was a campus stroll she couldn’t take too often during her time at OSU.
“For me, (the address) was nice, because I don’t stay in one place. As a Ph.D student, I stayed in the medical center,” Limoli said.
While Alutto took the podium to praise the graduates, OSU President Michael Drake advised the Class of 2014 at his first OSU commencement.
“Your real success as a person in your field, as a husband or wife, leader in the community, depends on how you conduct your life. How you do your life is more important than how you spend your life,” Drake said.
Alutto was presented with an honorary doctorate of higher education for his work at OSU, which included roles as executive vice president and provost and dean of the Fisher College of Business, as well as two terms as interim university president.
Distinguished service awards were also given to William Lowrie, chair of the Foundation Board and the But For Ohio State Campaign Committee; Dan Sandman, who serves on Moritz College of Law’s National Council and Moritz’s Program of Law and Leadership board; and Daniel Shapiro, professor emeritus in mathematics.
Sunday’s commencement cost nearly $78,000, OSU spokeswoman Amy Murray said in a July email.