Carnegie Mellon University

Lifelong Ascent


Student Speaker Shares Message of Keeping Things Interesting

Artist and graduating student Leslie McAhren enjoys creative challenges and celebrates the finding extraordinary in the ordinary. As the student speaker at Carnegie Mellon's 113th commencement ceremony, McAhren celebrated her master's degree in fine arts by discussing extraordinary creative people in her speech, "You, Me and Lifelong Ascent."

"Lifelong ascent is a matter of keeping things interesting ... for yourself.  Changing it up. Keeping it fresh," McAhren said in her speech. "Lifelong ascent is about leading our lives.  Carnegie Mellon has been a wonderful Petri dish: warm in all the right places."

She also touched on the theme of the polymath — someone who is an expert in several fields of study.

"The interesting thing about polymaths is that they seek and generate endless connections across human achievement," McAhren said. "For them, and here at Carnegie Mellon, disciplines know no boundaries. Instead of being annoyed by continuous change, we welcome it. Polymath brains can sense the tectonic shift that precedes a paradigm shift."

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