Read the full speech here:
"To the graduates of 2014: Congratulations!"
"Before we let you graduate, I am expected to give our graduating class a “charge.” This is a fancy way of saying that I am supposed to give you some advice. Since you have gotten yourselves this far without my advice, it isn’t clear that you need any from me now. (Except perhaps: “Watch your step going down the ramp.”) Quite frankly, coming up with advice that would be useful for people as talented as you are is a big challenge. So I am going to distract you for a minute with some advice that was given to me, by some of your fellow MIT students."
President Reif's advice to the Class of 2014
"I explained that I had to see some alumni who were members of the William Barton Rogers Society. I said, “These are graduates whose generosity makes it possible for you to be at MIT.” That impressed them. So I asked the students, “Is there anything you wish me to tell these important alumni?” After a moment, one of them replied, “Please tell them that MIT is a gift to the world.”
Taking care of an MIT graduate
"I think I should give the world some instructions for your care and feeding."
"MIT Graduates are fairly exotic: only around one hundred and thirty thousand of them exist in the wild."
The status quo is nothing more than the beta release
"Whatever road you choose to travel, I want you to reject the idea that what you see in front of you is the best that we human beings can do. I want you to see the status quo as nothing more than the beta release — a place to start, because you know we can do better."
Make the world a better place.
"I want you to hack the world, until you make the world a little more like MIT. More daring and more passionate. More rigorous, playful and ambitious. More humble, more respectful, more generous and more kind."
"...you leave us now equipped with a rare set of skills and steeped in this community’s deepest values: A commitment to excellence. Integrity. Meritocracy. Boldness. Humility. An open spirit of collaboration. A strong desire to make a positive impact. And a sense of responsibility to make the world a better place."