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"Let me conclude my remarks this morning with a quote from Countee Cullen, a poet of the Harlem Renaissance who graduated from NYU, then Harvard University. He said, “For we must be one thing or the other, an asset or a liability, the sinew in your wing to help you soar, or the chain to bind you to earth” (Countee Cullen).

Class of 2015, I ask: Will you be an asset or a liability? Class of 2015, will you give back and pay it forward? Class of 2015, will you invest in this world? Will you advance the human condition? Will you create opportunities for others? Will you make a positive impact? Will you help people and our planet? By saying yes, by saying “we will”—you will soar!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you the Class of 2015—the Class that will continue to soar!

Thank you. And now, it brings me great pleasure and it is my great honor to accept the Class of 2015. By the authority vested in me as President of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and on behalf of the Board of Trustees and the State of Illinois, I accept these students as graduates of IMSA and proclaim them as worthy to receive their Diplomas and Medallions."

José M. Torres, Ph.D.


  • Welcome - Reflections on This Day: Priya Triedi, Treasurer, Student Council [0:01:07]
  • Reflections on IMSA: Vinesh Kannan, President, Student Council [0:08:30]
  • Introduction of Commencement Speaker: Sheila MB Griffin, Chairman, Board of Trustees [0:18:37]
  • Commencement Address: Jamie N. Jones Ph.D., Innovation Advisor at RTI International and Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University [0:24:17]
  • Presentation of the Class of 2015: Branson D. Lawrence, Jr., Principal [0:40:21]
  • Acceptance of the Class of 2015: José M. Torres, Ph.D., President [0:44:24]F


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