At the University-wide commencement held June 15 at Citizens Bank Park, Drexel University honored the Class of 2018 with a special celebration held under the stars, and featuring a star speaker. The graduates and their family and friends celebrated all their accomplishments at Drexel with celebration festivities, an inspirational ceremony and, of course, lots and lots of fireworks.
These Dragons looked toward their future — with some help from some inspiring speeches from Drexel President John Fry and M. Night Shyamalan, noted Hollywood auteur and Drexel’s 2018 commencement speaker.
During his speech to the graduates, President Fry asked the soon-to-be alumni to think about what they would do if they couldn’t fail — a question he repeated for clarity, and then noted that it had shaped his life for the past 25 years, after he first came across the idea in a Robert Frost poem. Fear of failure, President Fry said, keeps people and societies from reaching their true, fullest potential. And while taking risks and pushing the limits might not always result in success or realized dreams in terms of careers or civic engagement, President Fry said he was optimistic about the Class of 2018 and their futures after Drexel.
“Wherever your path in life takes you, don’t ever compromise your best efforts,” President Fry told the graduates. “I assure you that good things happen when we stare down our fears and go after life’s opportunities as if failure was not an option.”
Shyamalan, who was lauded by President Fry as “a son of the Philadelphia region who has never forgotten his roots,” later took to the stage to also encourage the graduates to look to their futures and make their mark on the world.
“You are powerful beyond your wildest dreams right now,” Shyamalan told the Class of 2018 as part of his commencement address. “The universe is just waiting for you. Waiting for you and listening. Waiting for you to say something.”
Drexel’s 131st commencement concluded with a fireworks display in the ballpark, which has hosted Drexel’s University-wide commencement since 2016. The “Voice of the Philadelphia Phillies,” Dan Baker, held court as the master of ceremonies during the night’s event, and the Phillie Phanatic was also on hand during the pre-commencement festivities held at Citizens Bank Way — helping some Dragons with their hoods, giving out hugs and posing for pictures.
Relive all of the excitement of graduation onDrexelNow by clicking through the special commencement-themed photo recap below. You can also follow the fun of Drexel’s various school and commencement ceremonies and the University-wide ceremony by searching through the #ForeverDragons hashtags on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and checking out the social media posts made by individual colleges and schools.