Commencement 2019—around 2,000 brilliant graduates destined to change the world, droves of mentors whose support made everything possible, and one tornado warning that tried to rain on our parade. But as is the UMBC way, we weathered the storm.

This year’s spring commencement exercises featured memorable special guests. Distinguished speakers included Baltimore County Executive John A. Olszewski, Jr., Ph.D. ’17, public policy; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop, and National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow. And don’t forget a special appearance by the world’s most photogenic service dog, Chief.

The Class of 2019 is remarkable in so many ways, with their dogged drive and relentless commitment to pursuing their passions. They also have a deep focus on international exploration, whether they’ve come to UMBC from abroad or travel the world with UMBC as a home base.

UMBC’s new graduates boast a Rhodes Scholar finalist and a co-founder of the Sadie T.M. Alexander Conference, the nation’s first conference for Black women economists. And a record 14 new and recent UMBC grads were just named Fulbright Scholars. But even with all they’ve already achieved, we know the best is yet to come for these leaders.

Linda Wiratan, biochemistry and molecular biology, and Samiksha Manjani, political science, represented the Class of 2019 as valedictorians. Their inspiring messages focused on the importance of working together to enact real change in the world.

Congratulations, UMBC graduates!

Graduates and those cheering them on can share memories, well wishes, and photos through #UMBCgrad. View UMBC’s Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter accounts for coverage of the festivities. Videos can be found on UMBC’s YouTube page.

All photos by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

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