May 17, 2011
DALLAS (SMU) - Southern Methodist University held 96th annual spring Commencement ceremony Saturday with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas as the featured speaker.
"You are graduating into a world with very real challenges," Cornyn told the gathering of graduates, their families and friends in SMU's Moody Coliseum. "Some call them insurmountable challenges and say that America is ungovernable but I have just one word for this, baloney! I want to encourage you to take these challenges head on, to be confident in our abilities to triumph over adversity, and to reject the voices of cynicism and pessimism." (Read his speech.)
Re-elected in 2008 for a second six-year term in the U.S. Senate, Cornyn currently sits on the Senate Armed Services, Finance, Judiciary and Budget committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration Refugees and Border Security Subcommittee. (Read more.)
The ceremonies also included the presentation of about 2,500 degrees and the bestowing of a honorary degree upon the former chief justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
The Honorable Justice Pius Nkonzo Langa of South Africa received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his contributions to humanity. The former Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, he has dedicated his life to supporting human rights and democracy across the globe, and opposing the system of apartheid. (Read more.)
The weekend's activities also included the Baccalaureate service Friday in McFarlin Auditorium. The service was followed by Rotunda Recessional, a tradition in which seniors march through the Rotunda of Dallas Hall, marking the end of their undergraduate years and the beginning of their lifelong association with SMU as alumni.
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