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Coverage of Commencement Day 2012

On a sunny spring day that had begun with threatening gray clouds, President Ronald J. Daniels conferred degrees on 7,529 graduates at the university's 136th Commencement ceremony.

Thousands filled Homewood Field seats for the Thursday morning ceremony that featured a raucous crowd of supporters. Many graduates—with summer clearly on their minds—wore sunglasses, sandals and shorts with their robes as they sat in the low-80s heat. Befitting the creative and talented group, many graduation caps were decorated this year, the embellishments ranging from flowers and a bedazzled "Thanks to Mom and Dad" to a Blue Jay perched on top. One student spelled out her next goal in life: "Future MD."

In a tradition begun in 2010, the undergraduates from the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering first gathered on the Keyser Quadrangle to take a ceremonial "final walk" across campus, passing through the Freshman Quad, where their academic journey started, to reach Homewood Field. They were joined on their walk by undergraduates from the Peabody Institute and the School of Nursing. All other degree candidates entered from the Athletic Center.

Sam Palmisano, chairman of the board of IBM and chair of IBM's executive committee, delivered this year's commencement address. Palmisano, a 1973 graduate of Johns Hopkins and a former university trustee, was one of six people awarded an honorary degree during the ceremony.

"I think the most powerful asset that you acquired at Johns Hopkins goes beyond skill and expertise; it is the impulse and power to seize the moment," Palmisano said before ending his talk with a piece of advice for the graduates.

"Don't limit your options," he said. "Do not constrain yourself. Reach out and go for it."

Read more in The Gazette

From the ceremony:

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