NEOMED’s May 6 commencement ceremony is quickly approaching. To celebrate, we asked campus leaders to help compile a playlist of songs that encompass a spirit of adventure and excitement. Honor our graduates’ next steps and say “hello” to summer with these 23 songs by a variety of artists, from Macklemore to Billie Holiday.

If you are a Spotify user, here is the playlist. If you have a favorite song that embodies the emotions and excitement of commencement, add it to playlist.

If you aren't a Spotify listener, you can log into your own digital music service and line up these songs, listed here with the NEOMED community member who submitted them and the reason why.

  • “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang
    • Submitted by Dr. Altaf Darvesh. “Commencement is a time to celebrate! 😊”
  • “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall
    • Submitted by Dr. Altaf Darvesh. “This song makes a statement to recognize all of our female graduates.”
  • “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack
    • Submitted by Chris Kovacich. “It’s about all mothers as we watch our children grow and become adults. The adult world can be hard and our choices frame our future. So I wish your choices are good, wise and that you always choose to dance. Love and enjoy your life!”
  • “Something Big” by Shawn Mendez
    • Submitted by Emily Graves. “Congratulations to everyone graduating you are all going to do great things"
  • “Underdog” by Alicia Keys
    • Submitted by Emily Graves. “Never give up on your dreams"
  • “I’ll Fly Away” by Gillian Welch & Alison Krauss
  • “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys
  • “Take Me to Church” by Hozier
  • “Flowers in Your Hair” by The Lumineers
  • “Whenever, Wherever” by Shakira
  • “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons
  • “Summertime” by Billie Holiday
    • All submitted by Dr. Julie Altman. “This is an eclectic list of music and there are so many more artists and songs that I love, but these usually end up being played on road trips or on my running playlist. From Billi Holiday, Bob Dylan, Neil Young to Metallica, these artists have important messages about social injustices, but also about transformative reparations and hope. My love for Akron, The Black Keys, and the freedom to frequent Blossom every summer to listen to the Cleveland Orchestra is also captured in this playlist.”

Other anonymous submissions:

  • “We Are Young” by F.U.N feat. Janelle Monae
  • “Green Light” by Lorde
  • “Good Old Days” by Macklemore feat. Kesha
  • “Long Live” by Taylor Swift
  • “Cruel Summer” by Taylor Swift
  • “Closing Time” by Semisonic
  • “How You’ve Grown” by 10,000 Maniacs
  • “Who Do You Think You Are” by Spice Girls
  • “Congratulations” by Post Malone & Quavo
  • “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” by Panic! at The Disco


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