The following is an excerpt from a speech by Jordan Davis, BS’22, a Kelley School of Business alumna, Herman B Wells Award winner, and IU Bloomington’s 2022 undergraduate Commencement speaker. This speech has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
I want everyone to close their eyes right now, take a deep breath, and time travel back to March 2020. You’re getting ready for spring break, then boom we get the announcement; you know the one. Everything is ﬂipped upside down.
In your wildest dreams, did you ever imagine we would have entered a whole new world? I’m willing to bet that none of us imagined that, but guess what? This collective moment heightened our ability to imagine. So much of what we’ve done for one another during this period proves that we can reimagine our world.
You see, I’m a huge dreamer. I’m often told that I need to get my head out of the clouds. But looking back on our time here at IU, I think that an irrational imagination might be the key to how we take our Hoosier education and experiences and create a better world.
We are all responsible for being irrationally imaginative, and this looks different for everyone. Maybe it looks like you rejecting the status quo and prioritizing your health and well-being at all costs. Maybe it looks like focusing on the process rather than rushing towards the destination. Maybe it looks like speaking up even though your voice is shaking.
We hold the key to completely transforming the world as we know it.
We’ve been so blessed to receive a world-class education through IU, so we now owe it to ourselves, one another, and all the ones coming after us to reimagine and reinvent our collective world. So, today, allow me to encourage you. Having your head in the clouds, being larger than life, and being irrational is not always a bad thing. In fact, I think we hold the key to completely transforming the world as we know it.
Celebrating the Class of 2022
During May 2022 Commencement, Indiana University awarded 20,853 degrees to graduates from all 92 Indiana counties, all 50 states, and 140 countries. The youngest graduate was 18, while the oldest was 79. We are so thankful for every person who helped our students reach this momentous occasion.
As IU President Pamela Whitten wrote, “Our Class of 2022 is ready for all the joys, challenges, and opportunities that lie ahead. Let’s do all we can to make sure they know that they will always be a part of the IU family.”
This article was originally published in the 2022 issue of Imagine magazine.