MA Governor Deval Patrick Addresses BU Grads at University’s 141st Commencement Ceremony


CONTACT:    Kira Jastive, 617-358-1240 or

(Boston) – Speaking to more than 6,800 Boston University graduates and 25,000 guests at today’s 141st Commencement at Nickerson Field, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick encouraged the class of 2014 to be good citizens and, in a world of constant connectivity, to always be present.

“Modern society is awash in information and grappling with how to make the most of social media.  It is a force in casual communication, in business marketing, in celebrity.  It transformed politics in my first campaign, in Barack Obama’s, and in many campaigns since. But does it help us to connect as human beings?  Does it enable us to be present?

“Real human connection, the nuance of empathy and understanding, is often more gradual and elongated than Twitter.  It requires intimacy.  And I worry that the demands of constant communication and infinite information through social media are crowding out intimacy.

“Social media, as we have seen, can start a revolution.  But can it bring peace?

“You can break up on Facebook or text.  But can you also fall in love?

“I’m not the dull middle-aged Luddite that I sound like right now.  Well, the middle-aged part is accurate.  I love the convenience, reach and flexibility of social media. I understand the power of social media to bully or to stir a movement for good.

“My point is that human intimacy still matters. That’s how we build trust, how we convey kindness and grace, how we love, how we heal the world. And human intimacy still depends on looking someone in the eye, touching them, actively listening, being present.

Governor Patrick concluded his address by telling the BU class of 2014 to “put your tablet and your smartphone aside, look your Mom and Dad in the eye and tell them you love them. Hold your roommate’s hand and tell them you appreciate them for helping get you through to today.

“Be present – and see what a difference it makes in your lives and in the world.”

Nancy Hopkins, the Amgen, Inc. Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, kicked-off today’s formal commencement events at New England’s largest graduation ceremony, by delivering the Commencement Day baccalaureate address at Marsh Chapel. Hopkins later received an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the main service.

Also receiving honorary degrees at Commencement were: Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian William H. Cosby, Jr. (Doctor of Humane Letters); Chair and President of the Dubai-based Dodsal Group Rajen Kilachand (GSM’74) (Doctor of Humane Letters); Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of City Year Michael Brown (Doctor of Humane Letters); and noted actress and writer Mayim Hoya Bialik (Doctor of Humane Letters).

Taryana Gilbeau (COM‘14) delivered the student address.

High-resolution digital photography:

2014 BU Commencement participants can be downloaded at:

Password: buphotos

2014 BU Commencement ceremony photos can be downloaded at:

Password: buphotos

(Note: this link will lead to a blank page until BU Photography populates it, beginning Sunday afternoon.)

Complete info on BU’s 141st commencement weekend, including individual convocation ceremonies, can be found at:  You can also follow us on Twitter or find us on Facebook for continuous updates.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research.  With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States.  BU consists of 16 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission.  In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.