Photo of CWRU undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Watch: Case Western Reserve University celebrates Class of 2024 with commencement festivities

In his speech to Case Western Reserve University’s graduating Class of 2024, convocation commencement speaker Vinton Cerf advised students to embrace risks. Reflecting on the hesitant career moves that led to him being considered one of the “fathers of the internet,” Cerf encouraged graduates to not say “no” to intimidating offers.

“Don’t say ‘no,’ go ahead and take the risk,” he said. 

His speech was part of the festivities that opened up the celebratory events that were spread over four days and 10 diploma ceremonies. For many of those earning undergraduate degrees, this year’s commencement celebration was their first, as COVID-19 disrupted their high school graduation events in 2020. 

To help them—and those receiving graduate and professional degrees—celebrate, faculty, staff and fellow students gathered for a “Clap Out” on Case Quad Wednesday as students processed to the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center. Following the event, graduates and members of the campus community gathered at the Spartan Send-off Barbecue for food, beverages and activities.

In addition to graduates, the ceremonies included the celebration of several award winners, including those receiving honorary degrees, John S. Diekhoff Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring, J. Bruce Jackson MD Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring, Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Distinguished University Professorships, President’s Award for Visionary Achievement and Frank and Dorothy Humel Hovorka Prize.

Learn more about eight of our exceptional graduates and watch some highlights from the week’s festivities.