Harvey Mudd Confers Degrees at Commencement 2023

Share story

Harvey Mudd College conferred bachelor of science degrees upon 201 students at its 65th commencement ceremony, May 14, in Claremont, California.

Michael Ellison
Tech and nonprofit entrepreneur Michael Ellison gave the commencement address

Tech entrepreneur Michael Ellison gave the keynote address. Ellison is co-founder and CEO of CodePath, a nonprofit working to increase diversity in the technology industry. CodePath provides industry-vetted courses, internships and career support for students who are underrepresented in technology fields. Since 2017, CodePath has partnered with more than 80 colleges and universities and provided resources and support for more than 18,000 students.

“While you have certainly worked hard to get here,” Ellison told the graduates, “I stand before you today to challenge you even further. I want you to think bigger, l dream bolder, to have the courage to be audacious.”

“The world will change more in the next 20 years than it has in the past 100,” said Ellison. “You have the opportunity to become the greatest generation ever. What each of you decides to do, or not to do, is going to change the world. That’s the real reason I accepted President Klawe’s invitation to be here today. I’m here to recruit you. To recruit all of you to change the world.”

“The world needs you to dream bigger, to focus on the problems that can’t be solved in a year, five years or maybe even 10. If you can be audacious, if you can embrace failure, if you can invest the time to become great, I know you will change the world.”

Graduating senior Sonia Bliss gave the student keynote address.

“We have failed together, and we have succeeded together, and seeing your drive and your perseverance has been truly inspiring. The community we have is so special, and I’m sure we have all become a better version of ourselves because of it,” Bliss told her classmates.

Sonia Bliss
Sonia Bliss ’23 gave the student keynote address

“I am confident that each and every one of you will do amazing things, and that each and every one of us will be in your corner as you do it,” Bliss said.

“We’ve been here for four years, and it is now our turn to go into the world with kindness, intelligence and love. We have learned so much here, and we have a lifetime of learning ahead of us. I hope we can all leave here confident in who we are, and in our ability to impact change. Together, we are an amazing, unique and powerful group of people, and I cannot wait to see everyone go out and share what we’ve learned with the world. Thank you for helping me grow into myself, I am eternally grateful. I wish you all the best of luck, but I don’t think any of you need it. Thank you,” Bliss said.

Greg Rae ’00, president of the Alumni Association, welcomed the graduates into the HMC Alumni Association.

“With the technical prowess and breadth across the sciences and humanities you’ve worked on at Harvey Mudd, you’re capable of working on whatever life throws at you,” Rae told the new alumni. “I hope you’ll find the things that are worth working on, no matter how hard they may be.”

“Above all else, congratulations for your accomplishments at Harvey Mudd College,” Rae said.

President Maria Klawe was the final speaker of the day.

Maria Klawe
President Klawe gave the closing speech

“Graduates of the Class of 2023, the world needs you more than ever before,” Klawe said. “The world needs people well-versed in science, engineering and mathematics, and in humanities, social sciences and the arts, who understand the impact of their work on society. It needs people committed to collaboration and helping others. It needs people who are curious and love learning, and who are dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion. You have the knowledge, skills and values to make significant contributions throughout society. I am so proud of each and every one of you.”  

According to preliminary data, 60.3% of the Class of 2023 is headed into the workforce and 23.7% will be attending graduate school. Of those students who expect to be employed in the fall, 73.5% have already secured a position; the most frequently mentioned employers are Microsoft, Amazon, Extrahop and Google.

The seniors who applied to graduate school have been accepted and expect to enroll in graduate programs this fall, with the most common institutions being UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, MIT, Purdue, Stanford, UC San Diego and University of Wisconsin. Fields of study include PhD programs in engineering, math, computer science, physics, biology, chemistry and an MFA program in visual arts. 

The remaining members of the Class of 2023 have various plans, including internships, fellowships, such as the Watson Fellowship and NYU Shanghi Global Writing and Speaking Fellowship, volunteering, and taking a gap year to care for family and travel.

View the 2023 Commencement ceremony.