During Final Exercises on May 23, John T. Casteen III delivered the commencement address to the Class of 2010 in one of his last official acts as University president. The University awarded 6,256 degrees, including 3,570 bachelor’s degrees, 517 first professional degrees and 2,169 graduate degrees.
Casteen encouraged graduates to act on the knowledge they have gained, but perhaps the most powerful moment came when, voice trembling with emotion, he deviated from his prepared remarks.
He spoke to students about “what goes away as you leave this place, but comes back in memory: The murmur that you hear in libraries or in study groups as people work together in the evening. The sounds of music. The sounds of people talking to their parents on cell phones as they walk through corridors or down the Lawn. The sound of ROTC units running past in the morning on their morning workouts. The sounds of the Marching Band practicing on Carr’s Hill Field. The sounds of student life—sorority rush, joining other organizations, being together in the groups that define the community of student existence. The sounds of traffic. The sounds of carols … The sounds of children on the Lawn during Halloween. The Chapel’s bells. The cheers at games, no matter what the sport. And, the name of Yeardley Love.”
Love and three other members of the graduating class who died during the year—Joseph Arwood, Stephanie Jean-Charles and Scott May—were remembered in a moment of silence and were awarded posthumous degrees.