On eve of commencement, families and faculty toast Johns Hopkins Class of 2017

At annual senior toast, Daniels pays tribute to a class that has 'done it all'

Video: Deirdre Hammer and Dave Schmelick

Before his remarks at the annual senior toast Tuesday evening, Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels first raised a glass in honor of the parents and families of the graduates.

"I know I speak on behalf of the class when I say thank you for your support," Daniels said, speaking in the Scott Gymnasium. "Thank you for the things that you've taught your children that have made them the extraordinary men and women that they are, and allowed them to flourish at Hopkins."

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For his tribute to the Class of 2017, he made a departure from his planned remarks and delivered a spontaneous toast inspired by the students.

"You guys have done it all," he said. "You've been enormously talented in your academic studies, you've exceeded our wildest expectations. You've done great things on the sports fields, you've done amazing things on the stage, you've done great things in the laboratories, you've done great things in our community. In short, you have been a class that has coalesced together beautifully, and you've left your imprint on this institution, on each other, and on us—your faculty."

During the event, Daniels was presented with a check for more than $25,000—a donation to the school raised by nearly 700 members of the graduating class and matched by an anonymous alumni donor. The senior class president, Syed Hossain, also presented a bouquet of flowers to Mrs. Gladys Burrell, a longtime Hopkins employee who retired from Dining Services this month after a career spanning 47 years.

The annual farewell event capped two full days of celebrations on the Homewood campus during which many Johns Hopkins schools held their divisional graduation ceremonies in the lead-up to today's universitywide commencement at Royal Farms Arena.

As graduates and their families walked along the brick paths and through the nearly-empty lecture halls, they snapped selfies, greeted pals, lunched at an indoor picnic, and climbed atop the university gateway on Charles Street—a prime spot for photo ops. To capture the spirit of the year-end celebrations, the Hub wandered the quads with them, snapping photos along the way. View the gallery below for a look at the graduating Class of 2017.

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