Power Point: Celebrate and give thanks

June 5, 2009, 2:42 AM UTC

“Every time you celebrate an achievement, be thankful to those who made it possible.”

–Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy, in his address to Harvard grads Thursday. Chu encouraged students to give a shout out to parents, friends and inspirational professors. “Especially thank the other professors whose less-than-brilliant lectures forced you to teach yourself. Going forward, the ability to teach yourself is the hallmark of a great liberal arts education and will be the key to your success.”

Chu compared the structure of his speech to a “classical sonata.” The final movement was a plea for the new crop of Crimson alum to take on the threat of climate change. “As our future intellectual leaders, take the time to learn more about what’s at stake, and then act on that knowledge. As future scientists and engineers, I ask you to give us better technology solutions. As future economists and political scientists, I ask you to create better policy options. As future business leaders, I ask that you make sustainability an integral part of your business.” Music to our ears. –Jessica Shambora