Converse College conferred 153 bachelor’s and master’s degrees during its 117th commencement May 16 in Twichell Auditorium.
Nationally acclaimed philanthropist Cecelia Boone of Dallas, Texas delivered the commencement address. Co-founder of The Container Store, Boone works with numerous women’s causes, including the International Women’s Funding Network, the National Board of Planned Parenthood, the Harvard-Kennedy School of Women’s Leadership and the Dallas Women’s Foundation.
In her address, Boone encouraged members of the Class of 2009 to embrace flexibility in their careers (which goes hand-in-hand with Converse’s liberal arts approach of broadening the world view of each student and promoting an active curiosity about the world). “Be prepared to be nimble – not just for the next five years, but for the next 70. Keep yourself open to opportunity. Be prepared to reinvent yourself more than once,” Boone said.
Boone also talked about the inequities seen today in the workforce among men and women, and encouraged the graduates to combat the inequities by grasping the power that comes with responsibility. “On average women in America make seventy-eight cents for every dollar that a man makes. But did you know that in a lifetime of work, a woman with a bachelor’s degree earns the same as a man with a high school diploma and that a woman with a master’s degree earns the same as a man with a bachelor’s? This is you we are talking about and it is your generation that needs to figure out how to fix it. So as you begin your next phase of life, be on guard against this.