Renowned in the Broadway sphere and a proud Hunter College alumnus, Lin-Manuel Miranda imparted an uplifting commencement address on Tuesday. He lauded the graduates for their unwavering commitment to the pursuit of truth in the face of the overwhelming prevalence of misinformation online.
Despite their difficulties throughout their educational journey at CUNY, Miranda instilled hope and motivation in the graduates through his encouragement.
“The times and challenges that greet you are greater than those faced by Jonathan [Larson] or myself or anyone in history,” the singer, actor, and producer said.
“I cannot pretend to understand what college feels like in the middle of a global pandemic. I cannot pretend to understand how you begin to find your people when you’re in a lockdown. I cannot imagine trying to learn the truth in an age of online misinformation when it seems like our personally tailored algorithms cannot even agree on the same set of facts upon which to build a shared reality,” he added.
In his address to the graduating class, Miranda imparted his insights on finding inspiration from the greats who came before him, notably Larson and Stephen Sondheim. Miranda acknowledged the value of seeking guidance and motivation from those who have faced similar challenges and emerged triumphant. It is a testament to his humility and passion for the craft of musical theater that he would impart such wisdom to the next generation of artists.
“You do what you have to do. That allows for the most space for what you want to do,” Miranda said.
“What do you have to do? What do you want to do? Tomorrow is not promised. Make plans anyway. You are opening doors. Shout, ‘Here we are!’ You’re filling up days on a diamond. Keep choosing life and keep choosing connection. It will feel like you’re running out of time. But in all likelihood, you’ve got plenty of time.”