Jamie P. Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation, delivered the 2022 commencement address at Franklin College on Saturday, May 21, 2022, and was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters. James V. Due, senior vice president at Northern Trust in Chicago, also received an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Due is a 1982 alumnus of the college and serves on the college’s Board of Trustees.
The college conferred 172 undergraduate degrees and 31 graduate degrees.
The ceremony was held in Spurlock Center Gymnasium and was also live-streamed on the college’s website.
Merisotis’ keynote address was titled “The Humanities and the Human Work of the Future.”
“Beyond congratulations, though, I want to thank you,” said Merisotis. “You may not realize it – particularly on a day like today, which is rightly focused on celebrating personal accomplishment – but the degree you have earned benefits all of us. That’s because the power of learning will not only continue to change your life for the better, it will also help ensure our collective success. A better-educated nation is a healthier nation. It’s a nation where people are eager to contribute to their communities. It’s a nation where people can tell the difference between what’s real and what’s fake. The future of America depends on people like you – today, more than ever.”
“The skills for human work are sometimes referred to somewhat dismissively as ‘soft skills,’ but I think of them as ‘durable skills.’ They are durable because of their lasting value. And we know that because in survey after survey, employers tell us they are looking for these very things. They need what you have developed here at Franklin, durable skills like communication, problem-solving, teamwork, genuine curiosity and humility, and a strong work ethic. When I talk to CEOs from places like Cummins, Salesforce, and Eli Lilly, I’m struck by how many of the leaders throughout the companies have backgrounds not in tech, but in the liberal arts.”
Kerry N. Prather, Franklin College president, also offered remarks to the Class of 2022. “Wherever your future may lead, I hope you will carry forth the ideals and values learned or refined here. I hope you will think broadly and deeply; speak knowledgeably, honestly and humbly; act decisively but thoughtfully; and lead confidently, ethically and fairly. I hope you will also carry forth a special love for this place that will only grow stronger in the years to come. You are Grizzlies forever. Congratulations.”
The senior class speaker was Brynne E. Newland, a resident of Bloomington, who majored in elementary education and minored in Spanish and English as a new language. Newland plans to return to Bloomington to teach this fall.
The top five majors in the graduating class were business, exercise science, biology, psychology and history.
Preceding commencement, on Friday, May 20, Rev. Troy Jackson, Ph.D., a 1991 alumnus of the college, gave the baccalaureate address and received an honorary doctorate of divinity degree from the college. Jackson is the co-founder of Undivided and the state strategies director for Faith in Action.
For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.
POSTED May 21, 2022