Graduation speaker Jane Chen, a TED Senior Fellow and the co-founder of Embrace, a company that has created an inexpensive baby incubator that could save millions of lives worldwide, asked the graduates and those filling the James Brown Arena to watch the commencement ceremony to take a moment to contemplate the great cathedrals of Europe.
Why, she asked, would people – whole generations of people – devote their lives so tirelessly to building monuments they would likely never see completed?
“I think it was because they believed in a purpose that was far greater than themselves,” she said. “And as we gather here and you move on to your next steps, I ask each of you to think about what the cathedral is that you want to build. What is the legacy you want to leave behind?”
That message seemed to resonate with the more than 1,000 graduates (check out photo gallery here), many of whom looked as if they were taking the question to heart.
“If you can dream it, you can build it,” Chen finished. “So go out there and make your cathedral a reality.”