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Tufts E-News: 2006 Commencement

Tufts E-News: 2006 CommencementMembers of the local and national media headed to the Hill on May 21 to cover Tufts’ 150 th Commencement, which featured a keynote address from cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [05.22.06] Reporters, photographers and camera crews from national media outlets, including the Associated Press, C-SPAN and Agence France Presse, mixed in with the thousands of graduates, families and friends who gathered on Sunday for Tufts' 150 th Commencement. Cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong delivered the keynote address.

Read the text of Lance Armstrong's address

"Lance Armstrong challenged the 2006 graduating class of Tufts University ... to change the world," the Boston Herald reported. But, the newspaper pointed out, before getting to the more serious points of his speech, the 35-year-old began by joking that he was training for another Tour.

At that point in his address, Armstrong revealed a Tufts cycling jersey, which he was wearing beneath his robe, drawing thunderous applause from the crowd. The moment was captured by an AP photographer and the image appeared as part of a Boston Globe photo gallery featuring scenes from commencements at local colleges and universities.

Armstrong, who received an honorary degree from Tufts, also joked about being a "doctor."

"For a guy who barely made it out of high school, I find it incredibly ironic that I am standing up here as a doctor," Armstrong said, according to the AP. "I would just ask that somebody send the photos to the principal at Plano East Senior High and let them know that I, in fact, graduated from Tufts and he has to call me Dr. Armstrong now."

The tone of his speech turned more serious as Armstrong talked about his fight with cancer and his hopes for the Class of 2006.

"Armstrong told the graduates about his battle against testicular cancer, which spread to his brain before surgery, and his struggle to return to cycling before his winning streak on the Tour de France," the AP reported. He then urged graduates to "Be active ... Be involved. Be heard. Be aggressive. Be smart. Don't be afraid."

Armstrong wasn't the only speaker offering inspirational advice to Tufts graduates on Sunday. Later in the day, during Tufts' individual school ceremonies, Dr. Elizabeth Rozanski, an assistant professor of clinical sciences at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, urged a group of new veterinarians to "say yes every chance you get," according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Rozanski, whom the students elected to be their class speaker, also saluted the 77 members of the graduating class.

"Watching you develop into doctors has been the most fun for me," Rozanski said, according to the newspaper. "She noted that veterinarians may not dress the best or have the best hair, ‘but veterinarians are among the best people on Earth.'"

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