At Northeastern’s 111th Com­mence­ment on Friday, the uni­ver­sity cel­e­brated the Class of 2013 and hon­ored the first respon­ders and law enforce­ment who nearly three weeks ear­lier self­lessly sprung into action fol­lowing the Boston Marathon bombings.

Boston Police Com­mis­sioner Edward F. Davis III accepted the hon­orary degree on behalf of all first respon­ders and law enforce­ment, who were also rep­re­sented at the cer­e­mony by a group from area hos­pi­tals and the Boston Police Depart­ment, the Water­town Police Depart­ment, the Boston Fire Depart­ment, and Boston EMS. Mass­a­chu­setts Gov. Deval Patrick read the hon­orary degree at the cer­e­mony, held at TD Garden in Boston.

North­eastern Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun lauded the men and women—many of whom were from the North­eastern community—whose actions, he said, revealed Boston’s char­acter to the rest of the world.

Aoun said those actions have shed light on three lessons: putting the needs of others before our­selves, being pre­pared for the unknown and unex­pected, and proving that the power of com­mu­nity can heal us when indi­vid­uals hurt us. Yet he said these lessons have not just emerged out of crisis; the grad­u­ating seniors’ North­eastern edu­ca­tion has already taught them these lessons. “Edu­ca­tion allows us to meet chal­lenges we haven’t even con­ceived,” he said.

The pres­i­dent praised seniors for all their remark­able achieve­ments at North­eastern and said they are “ready to take on the world.”

No matter where your indi­vidual path leads, I know you will carry this uni­ver­sity, and this city, for­ever in your hearts,” Aoun said. “All of us will remain ‘North­eastern Together’ and ‘Boston Strong.’”

  • Graduating seniors pin one another as new members of Northeastern's alumni community.

  • Students entered the TD Garden ahead of the undergraduate ceremony.

  • Graduates greeted friends and family as they waited for Commencement to begin.

  • Northeastern's "Golden Graduates," members of the Class of 1963, attended the ceremony.

  • Students packed the TD Garden in Boston for Northeastern's 111th Commencement exercises.

  • Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis III, center with diploma, was presented an honorary degree on behalf of the first responders and law enforcement who sprung into action following the Boston Marathon bombings.

  • Many students personalized their cap and gown to stand out among their peers.

  • A student waves from the floor of the TD Garden.

  • College of Computer and Information Science graduate Bryan Ash shows off his diploma.

  • A Bouvé College of Health Sciences graduate showed off her college with a decorated mortarboard.

  • Boston Strong.

  • Students posed for photos before the ceremony began.

  • Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick greeted first responders and law enforcement.

  • Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group, delivered the undergraduate Commencement address.

  • Graduate students check out their diplomas during the graduate commencement ceremony in Matthews Arena.

  • President Joseph E. Aoun shakes hands with Nikesh Arora, senior vice president and chief business officer at Google, who delivered the graduate commencement address and received an honorary degree.

Jim Yong Kim, pres­i­dent of the World Bank Group and a global health expert, deliv­ered the Com­mence­ment address at the under­grad­uate cer­e­mony. In his inspiring and witty speech, Kim noted a recent study by a group of psy­chol­o­gists pub­lished in the journal Sci­ence, which found that people are extremely poor at pre­dicting their futures. These find­ings, he said, are essen­tially the story of his life. He described his Korean par­ents’ remark­able jour­neys to escape their home­land, over­come adver­sity, and through unthink­ably diver­gent and unlikely paths, meet at a hol­iday party in New York City.

Kim’s par­ents’ expe­ri­ences have helped teach him to embrace unex­pected oppor­tu­ni­ties in life. In his accom­plished career, Kim has co-​​founded the Boston-​​based non­profit Part­ners in Health, led the World Health Organization’s HIV/​AIDS ini­tia­tive to treat 3 mil­lion people in devel­oping coun­tries by 2005, and was nom­i­nated last year by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama to lead the World Bank Group.

Kim told the seniors that their North­eastern education—particularly through expe­ri­en­tial learning—has given them a head start on achieving their own suc­cesses. The abun­dant tools they’ve received at North­eastern, he said, will allow them to face uncer­tainty and lead extra­or­di­nary lives.

Northeastern’s co-​​op pro­gram and emphasis on expe­ri­en­tial learning make this one of the most inno­v­a­tive edu­ca­tional models in the world today. With co-​​op options in more than 90 coun­tries, this uni­ver­sity has given you unex­celled edu­ca­tion. Coun­tries around the world, including the United States, are searching for ways to over­haul higher edu­ca­tion, and they’re looking to Northeastern’s example,” he said.

In closing, Kim chal­lenged grad­u­ating seniors to “set bold goals, delib­er­ately and con­sciously build your willpower, and use your time well.” He urged grad­u­ates to embrace the uncer­tainty in their futures, rather than fear it. “Uncer­tainty means that nothing is pre­de­ter­mined. Uncer­tainty means that the future is yours to shape—with the force of your will, the force of your intel­lect, and the force of your com­pas­sion. Uncer­tainty is freedom. Take that freedom and run with it.”

“No matter where your indi­vidual path leads, I know you will carry this uni­ver­sity, and this city, for­ever in your hearts,” Aoun said. “All of us will remain ‘North­eastern Together’ and ‘Boston Strong.’”

Miguel de Corral, a senior inter­na­tional affairs major who has worked, studied, and con­ducted research in 16 coun­tries around the world, deliv­ered the stu­dent Com­mence­ment address. He said North­eastern has helped him grasp the value of a global edu­ca­tion through expe­ri­ences that include co-​​ops at NATO and the United Nations and studying Egyptian pol­i­tics in Cairo and Syrian his­tory in Damascus.

De Corral said he’s been mar­veled by his peers’ achieve­ments, which include cre­ating vibrant small busi­nesses and engi­neering impres­sive advances in tech­nology. Yet these accom­plish­ments, he said, must not make the Class of 2013 complacent.

The oppor­tu­ni­ties are end­less if we face the future with the same deter­mi­na­tion and work ethic that has char­ac­ter­ized these last few years. In our ranks surely lie the next health­care pro­fes­sionals, the next global busi­ness leaders, the next diplo­mats, the next pol­i­cy­makers, and of course, a gen­er­a­tion of global cit­i­zens ready to change the world,” de Corral said. This deter­mi­na­tion and ambi­tion must be matched by an uncom­pro­mising com­mit­ment to impor­tant values like humility, com­pas­sion, integrity, and sol­i­darity, he added.

At the under­grad­uate cer­e­mony, North­eastern also pre­sented hon­orary degrees to two influ­en­tial leaders: Jack D. Bryant, an inno­vator in the engi­neering industry, a Con­gres­sional Gold Medal recip­ient, and a member of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, who earned his master’s degree in engi­neering man­age­ment from North­eastern in 1976; and Bar­bara Lynch, an award-​​winning and nation­ally rec­og­nized chef who grew up in South Boston. Bryant, pres­i­dent of Bryant Asso­ciates, received an hon­orary doctor of engi­neering. Lynch, CEO of Bar­bara Lynch Gruppo, received an hon­orary doctor of public service.

During the cer­e­mony, North­eastern also rec­og­nized the Golden Grad­u­ates in attendance—alumni rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Class of 1963.

In closing remarks, Aoun said the hall­mark of a North­eastern stu­dent is being both a scholar and a doer. Through their edu­ca­tion and co-​​op expe­ri­ences, he said seniors have gained a global per­spec­tive and an entre­pre­neurial spirit.

Aoun then offered his charge to grad­u­ating seniors. “This Com­mence­ment is the moment when the mantle of lead­er­ship is passed to you,” he said. “Lead the world—change it and trans­form it. Shape your own des­tinies and re-​​shape the world. You are no longer in our hands—we are in yours.”

Later in the day, some 1,600 stu­dents received advanced degrees at a cer­e­mony in Matthews Arena.

Grad­uate cer­e­mony Com­mence­ment speaker Nikesh Arora chal­lenged the grad­u­ates to change the world by solving the seem­ingly unsolv­able. “Use the power of imag­i­na­tion to turn a problem upside down,” said Arora, who earned a master’s of busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion from North­eastern in 1992 and cur­rently serves as senior vice pres­i­dent and chief busi­ness officer at Google.

Top thinkers at Google, he explained, apply the 10X rule when designing inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to industry prob­lems. That is, they try to improve a process or ser­vice ten­fold. “A big part of 10X thinking is learning how to live out­side your com­fort zone and taking risks,” he told the grad­u­ates, noting Google’s rev­o­lu­tionary idea to map the country by taking photos from small planes. “Give the world what it doesn’t know it even needs.”

He urged the grad­u­ates to embrace that oppor­tu­nity, noting that you can “always say ‘no’ later,” and then quoted a famous saying: “‘A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.’”

Prior to his speech, Arora received an hon­orary doc­torate of com­merce. In his intro­duc­tion of the Google exec­u­tive, Aoun char­ac­ter­ized Arora as the “dri­ving force behind Google’s new prod­ucts and part­ner­ships in emerging nations.” Arora, he said, has “suc­ceeded by pur­suing his pas­sion to make a dif­fer­ence. His deep com­mit­ment to inno­va­tion and global part­ner­ships inspire us all.”

For full news cov­erage of Northeastern’s 2013 Com­mence­ment exer­cises, visit the news@Northeastern Com­mence­ment page.

Staff writer Jason Korn­witz con­tributed to this story.

Watch the time lapse video of Com­mence­ment at the TD Garden.