Divya Krishnamurthy would have likely received her
doctorate in chemistry in 2006, but she decided to switch
from the academic fast lane she was on to a slightly more
leisurely pace. Let's say that she wanted a certain someone
to catch up.
Her wait paid off, as on Thursday, May 25, she
graduated alongside her husband, Kapil Gupta, who both
attended the 131st universitywide commencement ceremony,
where President William R. Brody conferred more than 6,000
degrees on the class of 2007.
"This is one of the most important days of my life,
and I'm very happy I'm here with my wife and we're doing
this together," said Gupta, who received a doctoral degree
from the School of Engineering. The two met at Johns
Like always, graduation was very much a family
President Brody, as is his custom, delivered the
universitywide address, where he cautioned against willful
ignorance that is often based on ideology, politics,
religion or personal tastes. The truth might not always be
the popular choice, he said, but it's the right one.
"A fact, even if we don't like it, is still a fact,"
he said. "We must not ignore truths just because they make
For the afternoon's undergraduate diploma ceremony,
Brian Billick, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, provided
thoughtful words of wisdom for the gathered 1,050
graduating seniors: Be a pig, not a chicken.
Ravens Coach Brian
Photo by Will Kirk / HIPS
Billick was referring to the "bacon and eggs
breakfast" philosophy. "The chicken is involved, but the
pig is committed," he said. "Be the pig." Billick, who drew
several laughs and also praise for his speech, told the
graduates to be leaders who are fully committed and
passionate, whether it's to a team, a job, a mission or a
profession. He likened committed leaders to being patriots
— presumably not referring to a team from New
While Billick was largely well received, he did face
at least one tough audience member, a graduate who
good-naturedly yelled "Go Steelers" at the start of
Billick's talk. After pausing for the laugh, Billick
rebounded quickly with, "We have medications for that."
Not in attendance at the undergraduate ceremony were
five graduating members of the high-flying Blue Jays
baseball team, which earned the No. 3 seed in the NCAA
Division III Baseball Mid-Atlantic Regional and had left
Baltimore to play sixth-seeded Elizabethtown College.
(Hopkins won 5-4.) Not to be denied a proper send-off from
Johns Hopkins, the university hosted a special graduation
ceremony on Tuesday in the Hodson Hall boardroom for the
players and their families and friends.
Both Billick and Brody took time out to honor and
salute the parents and families of the graduates, who
crammed the stands in the afternoon ceremony. Many of them
clutched balloons, flowers and other gifts destined for the
The afternoon threatened rain, which never appeared on
the warm and slightly breezy day. After the ceremony,
families, friends and graduates were reunited in a sea of
smiles, hugs and tears.
President William R.
Photo by Will Kirk / HIPS
It was hard to imagine a happier looking bunch than
the Triplin family, a large contingent who were there to
congratulate Anthony, a sociology major.
Triplin, a wide receiver for the Johns Hopkins varsity
football team, said that as a Ravens fan and Baltimore-area
native, he was delighted to have Coach Billick be the
commencement speaker. He also sounded delighted to have
just earned a Johns Hopkins degree.
"There have been a lot of up and downs, but it's been
a great journey," Triplin said. "I came here wide-eyed, a
bit innocent, not knowing what to expect, but I've done a
lot of maturing and growing these past four years, and I'm
very proud of what I've done and where I am right now."