Brittany M. Smith, of Lincolnville, received a degree from Clark University on Sunday, May 22. Smith graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching.

During the 107th Commencement exercises, Clark awarded 524 bachelor’s degrees, 486 master’s degrees, and 35 doctorates. Alan Khazei, the founder and chief executive officer of Be the Change Inc. and City Year co-founder, delivered the Commencement address.

“It’s commonplace to call your generation the leaders of tomorrow — but I don’t believe that — you are showing that you’re not tomorrow’s leaders … you’re leading already today, and I congratulate you for that,” he said.

Khazei spoke of his parents’ advice and steps he took before pursuing his passion and creating the City Year program. “Trust your gut,” he told the graduates. “Try to learn from adversity and rejection as much as from victory and success.”

Khazei said that young people have traditionally led great efforts for change. He asked that, as they tackle the everyday challenges of life (finding a job, paying bills, etc.), the graduates also take on bigger, tougher questions and “strive to make world a better place.”

Clark’s 107th Commencement was the first under the stewardship of Clark’s ninth President, David Angel.

Since its founding in 1887, Clark University in Worcester, Mass., has a history of challenging convention. As an innovative liberal arts college and research university, Clark’s world-class faculty lead a community of creative thinkers and passionate doers and offer a range of expertise, particularly in the areas of psychology, geography, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. Clark’s students, faculty and alumni embody the Clark motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.