Remarks by Steve Case Highlight Mason’s 2009 Commencement

Posted: May 19, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Dan Walsch

Steve Case at Commencement
Commencement speaker Steve Case takes a photo of the Mason graduates to add to his Twitter page.
Photo by Nicolas Tan

More than 7,000 graduates received their diplomas at Mason’s 2009 Commencement on May 16. The total number of students to receive degrees from the university is nearly 130,000.

Mason President Alan Merten told the graduates that their diploma represents “the torch that one generation passes to another; a neat seat at the table of deciders and leaders. It represents the opportunity that you and graduates at colleges and universities throughout the United States and the world have worked so hard for.”

The Commencement’s address was given by Steve Case, founding leader of Revolution, a company that seeks to drive transformative change by shifting power to consumers. Case is also former chair and CEO of America Online and former chairman of AOL Time Warner.

Case urged the graduates not to be afraid to follow unconventional paths as they pursue their careers. He also outlined what he views as three keys to a successful career: people, passion and perseverance.

He urged the graduates to focus on such “people issues” as recruiting, motivating and inspiring. Additionally, Case advised the graduates to organize their lives around those things about which they feel the most passion. In doing so, Case cautioned that each graduate would probably run into difficult times and encouraged them to persevere when that happens.

Other Commencement highlights included the awarding of the Mason Medal to community activists Don and Nancy de Laski for their support of the arts at Mason and an honorary doctorate of human letters to Paul Strassmann, a distinguished professor of information sciences at Mason.

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