U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was in the Ocean State Sunday to deliver the commencement address at this year’s the University of Rhode Island graduation ceremonies.
During her speech, the first Hispanic woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice told the students to cherish the “ah-ha” moments they had during their college years.
“Some may have come in late-night conversations or early morning runs with friends,” said Sotomayor. “Friends who have inspired you to change your perspective, or who leave a lasting mark on the people around you, but please remember, you are here because of all of those “ah-ha” moments.”
She spoke about her own struggles during her early undergraduate years at Princeton.
“I learned from that experience that dreams do not come true because of luck or innate talent,” said Sotomayor. “They come true only if you work hard to make them come true.”
Sotomayor spoke to some four-thousand students during the ceremony, including her godson, who graduated with a degree in civil engineering.
“I hope you will take life-long pride in your memories from here, the good ones of course, but even the 'uh-oh' moments, too. Congratulations to all of you.”
Sotomayor received an honorary degree from URI, as did the Honorable Judge Frank Caprio, the chief municipal judge in Providence.