At the spring 2021 commencement, our community had the privilege of hearing some sage advice about re-entering society from Pulitzer Prize winner and Washington Post senior critic-at-large Robin Ghivan (M.A. 1988). You can jump to the end to see the entirety of Ghivan’s remarks.

Revel in the pleasure of daydreaming.

Oftentimes we need to create quiet in our mind. This is helpful because sometimes doing nothing prepares us to be “strong and tireless as we pick our way through the rocky terrain ahead.”




Pursue the thing that brings you joy.

“Find your joy because we need more people in this world who have done just that. We need people who are content within themselves so that they can give space to others to find joy, too.”




Be your full, individual self … without reservation.

After all, flowers in full bloom help pollinate “a glorious garden.”




Go see the world.

When it becomes possible, indulge your wanderlust. Until then, “Be an explorer in your own country...not at the tourist attractions, but in the neighborhoods where the teachers and waitress and everyday folks live.”




Talk to people who are not like you.

“But more importantly, listen to them.”




Give as many people as you can the gift of grace.

After all we’ve been through recently, you understand the “impossibility of perfection.”




Be supportive of good-faith efforts.

“Let people know there’s valor in trying.” Hold people to account, yet don’t banish them just because they don’t make it to the winner’s circle the first time.



You can check out the whole 2021 graduation ceremony on our YouTube channel.

👇Listen/watch Robin Ghivan’s remarks to the LSA Graduating Class of 2021.👇