Nancy Cantor to UMBC Grads: Take Your Activism With You

David Hoffman is UMBC’s assistant director of student life for civic agency.

David HoffmanAt UMBC’s spring undergraduate commencement ceremony, Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor encouraged graduating seniors to use their engagement, collaboration and leadership skills to bring people together to tackle social challenges. A national leader in the civic engagement movement in higher education, Dr. Cantor spoke candidly about what it would take for our graduates to make their mark in the world. But she devoted much of her address to reminding them that they already had plenty of experience in making a difference from their time at UMBC, naming some of the work that has helped make UMBC a distinctive site for social innovation.

I was thrilled to hear Dr. Cantor mention BreakingGround and affiliated courses and projects, including the Green Dot program and Co-Create UMBC (starting around 4:35). I was also inspired by her message to all of us: We must “not sit idly by,” but must “take to the streets in the most constructive sense of that call to action” and pool our talents for the public good.

Contact the author, David Hoffman, at


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