2010 Commencement honorand addresses

A pioneering choreographer, leading researchers in the fields of climate change and reproduction, a best-selling novelist and one of television’s best-known journalists offered brief remarks and received honorary degrees during Bates College’s 144th commencement ceremony May 30.

The 2010 Bates honorands are:

  • Rennie Harris, the choreographer who brought hip-hop to the mainstream world of dance
  • James McCarthy, a scientist recognized internationally for helping to communicate the science of climate change
  • Jane Pauley, the veteran television journalist
  • Elizabeth Strout, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and 1977 Bates graduate
  • Teresa Woodruff, a researcher responsible for pioneering work in the care of women who will become infertile due to cancer treatment

Here are their remarks:

Hip hop choreographer Rennie Harris: “Movement is the last manifestation of your reality. What you do is who you are. Not what you say … Take action. Define your reality.”

Climate change scientist James McCarthy: “Balancing on the boundary can be some of the most exciting territory of all … and from this emerges a wonderful gift: New understanding and appreciation of whole worlds of ideas that appear to stand apart, and this can be an extraordinary opportunity for creativity.”

Television journalist Jane Pauley: “How often we get hung up on what we can’t do. Think about what you can. And if you can’t think of anything, keep thinking.”

Elizabeth Strout ’77: “The best part of what waits for you is that liberating prize of life, those remarkable moments when we understand that we are not the most important person in the world. The man on the side of the road is. The person on the airplane suffering is.”

Cancer and fertility researcher Teresa Woodruff: “As Bates graduates, you are equipped to tackle the seemingly intractable problems of our day. We are all counting on you to become the thought leaders and doers of the 21st century.”