In the moment

Commencement is a loud event. There’s music and cheering, boisterous celebration, and tearful goodbyes. There are also quiet moments. Moments when the cheering and the celebration disappear for just a moment, leaving behind the relationships that make the entire Cornell experience, from orientation to Commencement, so meaningful.


  • Father David Feliz, graduate Ray Feliz, and brother Gabriel review photos to inspire the younger Feliz that one day it will be him in cap and gown.

  • In the final moments before graduation festivities begin, Lushana Peterson’s father tells her how proud he is.

  • Dean of Students Heidi Levine instructs the members of the Class of 2015 in the process that will culminate in their walks across the stage to receive their degrees.

  • Rachel Mazorow reaches up to straighten James Thompson’s mortar board as they prepare to process to the Commencement ceremony.

  • Professor of art history Ellen Hoobler adjusts Shena McAuliffe’s hood. McAuliffe is the Robert P. Dana Emerging Writer Fellow.

  • While waiting for the Commencement procession to form, professors Brian Nowak-Thompson (biology and chemistry, left) and Tyler Skorczewski (mathematics and statistics) use calculus to solve a question about soil physiology.

  • Audrey Zannini (left) and Tyler VanderGaast find their names in the official list of graduates.

  • The culmination of four years arrives as Kelly Oeltjenbruns embraces President Jonathan Brand and receives her degree.

  • Lorraine Roge-Jones poses for a selfie with Paul Hutchison ’87, Alumni Association board member. Hutchison invited every graduate to join him for a selfie; a composite video with his message to the class can be seen at