On June 8th, the Department of Philosophy celebrated the graduates of the class of 2018 at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture. Together, the students earned seventy bachelor’s degrees and one doctoral degree in philosophy, Alumnus Nick Hanauer (BA ’81) delivered our graduation reception address and spoke to the graduates about the value of his philosophy degree, telling them:
“You graduates all go into the world at a very interesting and challenging moment in American history. The American idea is very much in flux. Our society is changing fast, and it remains to be seen whether this will be for the better or the worse. You all have been taught a distinct and special set of skills that gives you the ability to influence the outcome of that. I hope you will do your best to make it better.”
Undergraduate student speaker Gabrielle Endicott, double major in philosophy and cellular molecular biology, spoke of her time in her “hobby major” philosophy and how she became hooked by philosophy in her PHIL 100 – Introduction to Philosophy class, which she is sure is true for so many of her fellow graduates. She discussed how the skills she learned in philosophy will serve her well in her future career as a veterinarian and will similarly serve her fellow graduates in any career they choose since the study of philosophy provides the foundation to analyze, think independently and to discuss different ideas. She thanked her professors for challenging her and making her philosophy degree more than a hobby.
Professor Colin Marshall toasted the graduates. He encouraged them to reflect on the hardest moments, either academic or personal, that they experienced over the course of pursuing their philosophy degrees, to celebrate that they made it through those moments, and to take that strength with them into the future.
We hope all of our graduates will take our speakers’ words to heart and use the skills they learned in their philosophy classes to positively impact the world around them and their own lives.
Congratulations Class of 2018!