CIIS President S. Brock Blomberg delivering Commencement 2023 Address
Campus News

President S. Brock Blomberg's Commencement 2023 Opening Remarks

"We are proud to continue the tradition of coming together and growing as a community, strengthening our ties and forwarding a relationship of shared respect and understanding."

President S. Brock Blomberg May 14, 2023

Trustees of the University, CIIS faculty and staff, alumni, honored guests, cherished family and friends, and, most especially, our new graduates…

I’m thrilled that you have joined us on this most meaningful day to celebrate CIIS’ 55th Commencement and the class of 2023.

Before I say a few remarks to our graduates, I want to pause to make an offering.

Since coming to CIIS, I’ve had the honor of listening and learning about the history of the indigenous people of the land on which we sit today. It’s been a profound experience, so I’d like to offer an equally profound acknowledgement …

On behalf of the CIIS community…

I would like to honor the Ramaytush Ohlone people, ancestral stewards of this land. We recognize and uplift their elders and descendants, who call this place that CIIS sits, their home. We are proud to continue the tradition of coming together and growing as a community, strengthening our ties and forwarding a relationship of shared respect and understanding. ​​

Graduates, you have endured through an extraordinary time of change and challenge, not the least of which was a global pandemic, social and economic instability, a climate crisis, among others.

The world that existed when you entered your program is not the one in which you are graduating into. It has been transformed.

Transformation is something this community knows much about … after all, it’s been happening here since CIIS opened its doors over five decades ago.

Many students and alums have said that one of CIIS’ greatest gifts is that it gives everyone an opportunity to transform. “You come out a different person,” I’ve heard it mentioned repeatedly.

Radical curiosity, deep inquiry and reflection, multiple ways of knowing, learning, and teaching —pillars of an integral education at CIIS and aligned with our Seven Commitments — are what uniquely foster that transformation.

As you leave today and transition into CIIS’ community of esteemed alums, hold your experiences of your time here close at heart; always endeavor to transform; and know that this beloved community will continue to support and advocate for you.

Each year CIIS selects someone who represents the University’s mission and commitments to receive an honorary doctoral degree. This year, CIIS has selected Bayo Akomolafe.

I’d like to invite to the podium Bayo Akomolafe and Dr. Rene Dumetz, Program Chair for the department of Clinical Psychology, who will say a few words about Bayo’s impactful and emergent work.

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