Harvey Mudd Confers Degrees at Commencement 2024

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Harvey Mudd College conferred bachelor of science degrees upon 197 students at its 66th Commencement ceremony, May 12, in Claremont, California.

Grant Sanderson, a math educator and creator of the popular YouTube channel 3Blue1Brown, gave the commencement address. Sanderson’s animated visualizations explaining complex math and physics concepts on 3Blue1Brown have garnered over six million viewers. He also wrote the open-source Python library Manim, which thousands have used to create mathematical visualizations and online lessons.

In his address to the Class of 2024, Sanderson shared his thoughts on what’s missing from the usual advice to “follow your dreams.” 

“If you have a passion that you want to incorporate into a career, take a step back and recognize the fact that this is a passion that grew in a time of your life when the goal was to learn and to grow,” Sanderson said. “But you’re transitioning to a period in your life when the primary aim shifts to adding value to others. The cliche to follow your dreams overlooks how critical it is that the dreams you have are about something more than just yourself.”

“In the unpredictable decades to come, your generation is the one that holds more sway than any other over how it unfolds. If you remain adaptable to a changing world, treating passion not as a destination, but as a fuel, following not dreams, but opportunities, you’re more likely to be at the helm,” Sanderson said.

Kathy French ’97, president of the HMC Alumni Association, welcomed the graduates into the alumni community.

“The willingness to help one another is a value that all Mudd alumni uphold with great intent,” French told the new graduates. “Just as you relied upon the broader Mudd family to navigate to today’s celebration, that Mudd family will always be here to help you continue to deepen your passions.”

Graduating senior Saachi Patel gave the student address.

“Throughout college, I have built many relationships grounded in radical love,” Patel told her classmates. “I credit these relationships to the intimate community we have at Mudd which has allowed me to find my people.

“Mudders have the privilege of having the tools to think critically and engage in meaningful change,” Patel said. “If you wish the world to be different, you can commit yourself to that struggle. And a crucial first step is finding your people and radical love. Our majors’ applications do not stop at a product of a chemical reaction, a published research paper or a final manufactured prototype. We can find other communities that intersect with our love for science and change the structures that confine our movement in the world to a bubble.”

According to preliminary data from the senior survey, 53% of the Class of 2024 is headed into the workforce and 29% will be attending graduate school.

Of those students who expect to be employed in the fall, 62% have already accepted a position. The most popular employers are Microsoft, Amazon, California Institute of Technology, Ellison Institute of Technology, Google, Second Order Effects and SpaceX.

Among seniors who applied to graduate school for the fall, they plan to enroll in graduate programs at schools like Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA, UC San Diego, Harvard, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, University of Washington and USC, among others.

The remaining members of the Class of 2024 have various plans, including internships, an USTA Fulbright and travel.

View the 2024 Commencement ceremony