'You Must Love,' Cory Booker tells grads

By Dennis Nealon; Distributed via Associated Press; university Web site, May 17, 2009

May 17, 2009

Report from TODAY’S Brandeis University Commencement


Contact: Dennis Nealon

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‘You must love,’ Newark, N.J., mayor tells Brandeis University graduates

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory A. Booker challenged 784 graduating seniors at Brandeis University’s 58th commencement to use their love to change the world.

“Do not submit,” he said during his May 17 main address on the school’s Waltham, Mass., campus. “Do not resign yourselves to what is. Don’t sit out; don’t take a pass.”

“You drink deeply from wells of freedom that you did not dig,” Booker told the graduating seniors. “To me you have a critical decision to make: To accept conditions as they exist or to take responsibility for changing them.”

“The world is desperately in need of love.”

The university awarded 784 bachelor’s degrees, 679 master’s degrees and 84 Ph.D.s at the ceremony in the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center.

The school’s president, Jehuda Reinharz, urged the graduates to save for the future and, “disagree with respect.”

“Life’s lessons have to be learned over and over again,” Reinharz said.

Honorary degrees were presented to six individuals including Booker; maestro James Conlon, music director of the Los Angeles Opera; mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, called "probably the greatest singer in the world” by Opera News; Indian environmentalist Rajendra K. Pachauri, director general of The Energy and Resources Institute; Israel Gutman, the world’s foremost scholar of and authority on the Holocaust, and a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the concentration camps Majdanek, Auschwitz, and Mauthausen; and Israeli industrialist and former Knesset member Stef Wertheimer.