Ohio State University: Ohio State celebrates 2021 summer commencement

More than 1,700 students joined hundreds of family, friends and university leaders in the Schottenstein Center Sunday to celebrate The Ohio State University’s 2021 summer commencement.

President Kristina M. Johnson led the university’s 428th commencement ceremony, her first summer commencement since joining Ohio State last year. She congratulated the 2021 graduates for surmounting the trials they faced last year.

“I know that I speak for the entire Ohio State community when I say that we are so proud of you. When the world was turned upside down, you not only found ways to carry on, you outdid yourselves, and contributed to the better future that we all hope will emerge from this period,” she said. “We humans may not always get to write every chapter of our own stories, but we can edit those stories, and turn the unexpected and cataclysmic into something meaningful, beautiful and great.”

Bruce A. McPheron, professor of entomology, Dean’s Chair of CFAES International Programs and former executive vice president and provost, delivered the commencement address. As an Ohio State graduate from the 1970s, McPheron said he understood what it was like to graduate at a time of social unrest.

He said today’s graduates continued to prove their resiliency despite the pandemic, social isolation and the turmoil following a renewed pursuit of racial justice.

“You pivoted, adapted and found a way to succeed. You showed us your very best, and your graduation is an important reminder not only of what you achieved but also what you have overcome. Congratulations! I think this is an accomplishment worth recognizing,” he said. “In the end, this is what an Ohio State education is all about. You not only learned the fundamentals of your discipline, you learned how to learn. You learned how to ask questions, how to think independently and critically.

“You not only learned to be self-reliant but also how to lift one another up; how to persevere as individuals and as a group. And, I hope – I really hope – that you also learned to love learning for the sheer joy it brings to the inquisitive mind.”