Chimamanda Adichie joins exclusive list of Yale’s Class Day speakers

Celebrated novelist and public speaker, Chimamanda Adichie, delivered the Class Day speech to the 2019 graduating members of the Yale College at New Haven, Connecticut.

The event, which held on Sunday, May 19, on the eve of Yale’s 318th Commencement, is a celebration of the graduating Yale College class.

A tradition that dates as far back as the 19th century, Class Day includes student reflections on their four years at Yale, the awarding of undergraduate prizes for academic, artistic, athletic, and community accomplishments, and an address delivered by a prominent figure chosen by the students.

In 2018, the Class Day speech was delivered by former US First Lady and 2016 Presidential Candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Chimamanda joins an exclusive list of Yale Class Day speakers which include a former Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden; Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair; Renowned television journalist, Barbara Walters; Oscar winning actor, Tom Hanks; and many more.

In announcing her selection as speaker, the Class Day 2019 planning committee described Adichie as “an inspiring global citizen whose words, teaching, and social activism have had an indelible impact on the diaspora and broader contemporary culture.”

An alumna of Yale herself, Adichie received her Master of Arts degree in African Studies from the school in 2008. “I remember the many clever undergrads I met while at Yale and it’s an honor to know that a class of similarly clever students chose me to speak to them.” Adichie said in an earlier statement.

In her insightful speech, which was filled with humour and interesting stories, the writer shared some career and life advice, touching on beliefs, journalism, leadership and more. She encouraged the graduates to be open to experiencing the world in a way that is different from their idealised belief.
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