Hundreds of graduate students were presented with diplomas at the university’s graduate commencement Saturday afternoon at .
The keynote address was given by Robert Gallo, a virologist who discovered that HIV was the cause of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Gallo was the keynote speaker for the ceremony.
Gallo said in his speech that every scholar — not just those in the sciences — has the opportunity to improve the world and rid it of epidemic diseases like AIDS. His research, he said, spans all academic interests and research.
“Science does not flourish in unfairness,” Gallo said, adding that the “heaviness of life” would not be bearable without the “beauty and imagination” provided by those devoted to the arts and humanities.
A Connecticut native, Gallo emphasized the importance of being adaptable and cooperative and told the graduates not to be afraid of failing.
“Anyone productive ... has failed many times,” Gallo said.
UConn President Susan Herbst presented honorary doctorates to Gallow and Thomas Pogge, a philosopher and international human rights advocate. Herbst said UConn emphasizes the importance of studying human rights, and soon will be the only public research university to have a human rights major.
Undergraduates in UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences graduate Sunday, along with graduates of the Neag School of Education and the School of Business. A full schedule of UConn’s graduation ceremonies can be found online.