171st Commencement
Audra Wilson ’94 in a teacher's graduation cap and gown giving her keynote address at Bucknell’s 171st Commencement
Ruby Lee ’21 in a graduation cap and gown giving her speech at at Bucknell’s 171st Commencement
Encouragement for a Class of Change-Makers
by Brooke Thames
Speakers at Bucknell’s 171st Commencement delivered inspiring messages about empathy, courage and growth to the 875 members of the Class of 2021. On May 23, the graduates were recognized across three ceremonies in Christy Mathewson–Memorial Stadium, allowing for proper social distancing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In her keynote address, lawyer and policy shaper Audra Wilson ’94 urged the graduates to use the knowledge they gained at Bucknell to build a better future.

“In many ways, [Bucknell] has enabled you to grow and develop in unique ways,” said Wilson, the president and chief executive officer of Chicago-based Shriver Center on Poverty Law. “It is the place where you’ve learned to find your voice.”

Student speaker Ruby Lee ’21 encouraged her peers to harness the power of vulnerability as they use their voices for change.

“Remember that leaning on this openness paves the way for empathy and courage to follow through on your convictions,” she said. “Because this is how we will change the world.”

Graduate of Bucknell wearing a graduation cap and gown and green circular sunglasses celebrating happily
Photos: Emily Paine; April Bartholomew
Top photos: Audra Wilson ’94 (left) and Ruby Lee ’21 invoked the Class of 2021 to use their voices for the greater good.
Bottom: A graduate celebrates.