(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/)
General Electric chairman Jeffrey Immelt urged Boston College graduates today to boldly tackle the problems facing society -- and there are plenty of them, he said.
"Solving problems is your great opportunity,'' said Immelt, according to a transcript of his remarks. "In this country, the next generation is always the Greatest Generation. Americans always have a sense that the future will be better than the past.''
US Senator Scott Brown attended the ceremony to celebrate the graduation of his daughter Ayla. She earned a communications degree, according to her website.
For his address, Immelt said he had solicited commencement advice from the 270 BC alumni who work at GE. Among his other words of wisdom:
-- Sustain a lifetime of learning and challenging established beliefs. "These are clearly the foundation of a Jesuit education,'' he said.
-- Live with a spirit of optimism; and, every now and then, say a “Hail Mary. To me, and many BC grads, it means never give up. It is a spirit of hope and possibility that keeps us motivated in the darkest days,'' he said.
BC also presented honorary degrees to urban education reform expert Anthony Bryk, a 1970 BC graduate and president of The Carnegie Foundation; Yawkey Foundations Chairman and former Red Sox CEO John Harrington, a graduate of the college; Sister Mary Hart of St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Roxbury; Joy Haywood Moore, a 1981 BC graduate and deputy head of academy at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa; and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and a current member of the Roman Curia Congregation for Bishops.
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