Speaker: Spider grads have the right tools in an evolving tech world

May 9, 2023

University News

As newly graduated Spiders head into the world, the 2023 University of Richmond Commencement speaker told the audience they had exactly the right mix of skills and tech savvy to make their mark on the future.

Greg Morrisett, a 1989 Richmond graduate, and Jack and Rilla Neafsey Dean and Vice Provost of Cornell Tech, told the graduating class that their Richmond education has equipped them with critical thinking skills, creativity, and morality that will be vital in an age of emerging technology like artificial intelligence.

Cornell Tech Vice Provost Greg Morrisett

Morrisett told the graduating class they would need to determine how to ethically engage the AI technologies, which will dramatically affect every sector of industry, including finance, law, and medicine.

“Creative risk-takers will have tremendous opportunities, and your generation will be at the forefront of these exciting developments,” Morrisett said. “Critical thinking, design, creativity, humanity, morality: these are the key elements of a liberal arts education. This is what I value from my undergraduate education,” he continued, noting that these skills will be “vital in the age of AI.”

Morrisett knows the technology landscape well. Prior to joining Cornell Tech, the Spider alum was dean of computing and information science at Cornell University. Previously he taught computer science on the faculty of Harvard University and Cornell.

Before the address, President Kevin F. Hallock presented Morrisett with an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

Greg Morrisett embodies the qualities the University seeks to cultivate in all Richmond students and provides an inspiring example of a life of purpose, thoughtful inquiry, and responsible leadership in a diverse world.