10 powerful quotes from Northeastern’s 2022 Commencement speeches

Northeastern University celebrates its graduate 2022 Commencement ceremony at Boston’s Historic Fenway Park. Speakers included Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern, Leila Fadel, an NPR reporter and co-host of the public news organization’s banner show, Morning Edition, a distinguished group of influential figures as well as student speakers. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

This is part of our coverage of Northeastern’s 2022 Commencement exercises. For more information, including a livestream, photos, and live coverage throughout the day, visit our dedicated Commencement page.

“Yesterday, he told me, ‘There’s brilliant minds here, mom, and it keeps me on my toes. It keeps me wanting to be a better person.’ That was amazing.”

Janie Hubacz, mother of Northeastern master’s degree recipient Nicolas Hubacz

“What we will do—what you will do—those pages of our lives are blank. We get to be the author. Do not let the fear of what has happened, what is happening, stop you from pursuing the hope of what could be. You are that hope.”

Leila Fadel, Northeastern graduate Commencement featured speaker and host of Morning Edition at National Public Radio

“Life is largely improvised, more reality show than scripted production. Your dramatic arc will be shaped by setbacks as well as successes. Despite your mostcareful planning, you will sometimes fall clownishly flat. But your Northeastern experiences prepared you to stand up again. To move forward. To adapt.”

Photo by Billie Weiss/Northeastern University

Joseph E. Aoun, Northeastern president

“Life has given [Jessica] challenges along the way. She seemed to just keep fighting through, and then Northeastern has just made her blossom more. She’s not afraid to stick up for herself and others.” 

Cathy Taylor, mother of Northeastern bachelor’s degree recipient Jessica Tabor

“Your vision for how life should go will evolve as you have new experiences, as you immerse yourself in different environments and cultures, and as you grow. Use those experiences to develop and push yourself. Continue to be the extraordinary and ambitious thought leaders you are.”

Aniyah Smith, Northeastern graduate Commencement student speaker

“At my workplace, I was making noise, telling people, ‘Hey, my daughter is going to be a doctor tomorrow!’ “

Richard Oduro-Adjei, father of Northeastern doctorate degree recipient Janelle Oduro-Adjei

“I have found that the richest life, from my experience, the most beautiful life, is a life dedicated to helping others. You get gifts and rewards that you can’t imagine.”

Hamdi Ulukaya, Northeastern undergraduate Commencement featured speaker and chief executive of Chobani

“What gives me hope, throughout these challenges, is you. All of you, with your Northeastern experiences, ready to shape the future. To make it better. More peaceful. More sustainable. More just.”

Joseph E. Aoun, Northeastern president

“At Northeastern, we have learned to be resilient and relentlessly curious. We didn’t always have things figured out as students, and, trust me, we will not always have them figured out as graduates. But through the life cycle of learning and experience, we will always find new ways to be the problem-solvers our world needs.”

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Adwoa Sefah, Northeastern undergraduate Commencement student speaker

“I think it’s fun to know that she’s graduating here at Fenway. It’s such a staple, classic place in Massachusetts. And for it to be full-circle and now she’s off to Chicago. It’s just the perfect place, and perfect weather.”

Rhea Balasubramanian, sister of Northeastern master’s degree recipient Meghna Balasubramanian

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