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Off to Oxford: Students named Frost Scholars

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Speakers draw on past experiences, share life lessons at spring commencement

A good sense of humor is said to be a sure mark of brilliance.

The brilliant Sir Harry Kroto, Florida State University's Francis Eppes Professor of Chemistry and the co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, opened his Friday evening commencement address by assuring the graduates; "As Henry VIII said to his wives, 'I shan't keep you very long.'"

Kroto spoke at the first of Florida State's three spring commencement ceremonies held May 1 and 2, at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. FSU President John Thrasher presided over all three ceremonies as the university awarded degrees to more than 6,200 graduating students.

In congratulating the graduates for choosing to attend Florida State, Kroto lauded both the university's faculty and its "fantastic" student body.

"You're as good as any that I've ever come across," Kroto said.

Kroto, a native of the United Kingdom, continued by praising the U.S. Constitution as one of the greatest documents ever written and the First Amendment as the most important. He encouraged the graduates to do everything they can to protect them.

"Freedom of speech is the most important one," he said.

Kroto also touched on freedom of the press, saying the United States currently ranks 43rd out of about 150 nations with a vibrant free press.