“We’ve already been out there. We’re already chasing our dreams. Some of you have already changed the world.”
Riviello struggled to write his speech, he shared, because the Class of 2019, and the Babson community as a whole, are unlike anything he’s ever been a part of.
“I get to speak to the most diverse and extraordinary group of people. The person next to you might be a lawyer or a doctor, an artist, engineer, mother, or father. They could be 25 or 35 years old, from Asia or Africa.”
Touched most by the powerful, global network Babson has created for him, Riviello asked his 635 classmates in the audience to form a human chain. No hand left unheld, the Class of 2019 listened closely.
“This chain was not formed 10 seconds ago. It was forged,” he exclaimed, “day by day, one study session after another. Long night after long night. Now, let go, and as you do, know that this link will never be broken … it is a link to the entire Babson community. You are now part of the strongest safety net ever built. One that has been 100 years in the making, and will only continue to grow stronger in years to come.”
Riviello encouraged his classmates to give the chain a “slight nudge” anytime they need something. “Someone on the other side will always respond.”
“Never forget that no matter what corner of the world you find yourself in, don’t be afraid to stretch out your hand for help. Babson will always be there to hold it.”
Riviello closed by honoring one of Babson’s most “positive and dedicated community members,” Professor Abdul Ali, who passed away in December and was posthumously presented the Kennedy Award for being the 2019, student-selected professor of the year.