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Commencement 2014

Bard College at Simon’s Rock held its 45th Commencement on Monday, May 26, 2014. Fifty-nine undergraduates received their BA degrees and 96 received their AA degrees. Congratulations to all our 2014 graduates!

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The Commencement Address

perales.jpgLeading American civil rights litigator, activist, and Simon’s Rock alumna Nina Perales delivered the school’s 45th commencement address. Perales assured the early college graduates that they are well prepared for the future, using her own experience arguing before the United States Supreme Court to illustrate the point. “Thirty years ago, I sat in your chair,” said Perales, Vice President of Litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “If anyone had told me then I would make my living arguing civil rights cases in the courts, I would have laughed.”

“There will come some very important moments in which, while you pursue your passion, you must rise to the occasion,” she said. “You can do this because you are brave. Coming here, instead of doing what everyone else was doing in high school, was a brave act.”

Perales reminded the audience that graduation should be a time for further exploration. “You don’t have to have that picture in your mind yet,” Perales explained. “You don’t have to know the country you’re going to be in, or the people who will work alongside you, or what you’re going to wear, or even exactly the how of pursuing your passion. Right now, you only have to follow the voice inside telling you where to go.”