Candid Commencement: Words of Wisdom

Deliana Andrea Escobari Ocampo (BUS ’12, CDM MS ’16) offers words of wisdom during commencement. (DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)

During DePaul’s 119th commencement ceremonies, held in May and June, the university bestowed degrees on approximately 6,500 hardworking graduates. As student speaker Deliana Andrea Escobari Ocampo (BUS ’12, CDM MS ’16) asserted to her fellow graduates, “You have the tenacity to get through challenges that earned you the seat you’re sitting in today.”

Ocampo wasn’t the only one doling out words of wisdom. Inspiration also came from the commencement speakers, who included leaders in education, broadcast journalism, architecture, business and the arts. Below, check out their advice on generosity, action and making a difference.

John Corigliano (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

“I urge you to find something you believe in, and fight for it … I think artists have always fought the fight. They’ve always been in the vanguard of the people who have seen what is wrong and spoke up about it … Take a stand, and come out with something that will push us forward.”
John Corigliano, composer
School of Music and The Theatre School joint commencement speaker

Sharon Draper (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

“Bring joy to what we do. We get to shape the minds of children and adults … we have to do it with joy or else what’s the sense of doing it?”
Sharon Draper, educator and children’s author
College of Education commencement speaker

Rick Kash (DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)

“The role of generosity in our lives is the gift of being able and willing to give without expecting anything in return … What separates graduates who get to the top of the leadership ladder is that they make generosity an imperative in their careers.”
Rick Kash, vice chairman, Nielsen
Driehaus College of Business and Kellstadt Graduate School of Business commencement speaker

Craig W. Hartman (DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)

“It’s my job today to help launch you into the world and to remind you that you have the power to change the world … You can go anywhere, but your education has uniquely prepared you to contribute to this great city. Chicago is in you; it wants you back.”
Craig W. Hartman, architect, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
College of Science and Health and College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences joint commencement speaker

Stuart Dybek (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

“We are all storytellers … Each of you is living a story at this moment, one you’ll take with you after you leave your gown behind … The gift is not just how to think but the joy of thinking.”
Stuart Dybek, poet and fiction writer
School for New Learning commencement speaker

Marty Wilke (CMN ’86). (DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)

“Today’s commencement completes your foundation. This is the basis on which you will build your future as a leader in our community.”
Marty Wilke (CMN ’86), president and general manager, WBBM-TV, CBS 2
College of Communication and College of Computing and Digital Media joint commencement speaker

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