For undergraduate commencement student speaker Rebecca Bamidele, politics and medicine are a potent mix

This isn’t Rebecca Bamidele’s first speech. But it’s certainly the biggest.

As senior class president, Bamidele spoke at her high school’s graduation in 2019. But the crowd on hand for Concord High School’s ceremony in New Hampshire numbered a few thousand. On Sunday, she may have an audience of more than 30,000 for Northeastern’s undergraduate commencement at Fenway Park.

Nerves would be understandable. But a week before she takes the big stage in center field, Bamidele is still riding high from getting the email — in the middle of one of her last classes, a fashion design elective — tapping her as the university’s 2024 undergraduate student speaker.

She feels more ready than anxious.

“Obviously it’s a big responsibility and a lot of pressure to speak for a whole class,” says Bamidele, a combined major in biology and political science. “But I feel so secure in my experiences, and I’m trusting that I have something valuable to say. I think that overcomes the nerves for me.”

Christine McEvoy, an adviser at Intervarsity — the campus Christian fellowship that served as Bamidele’s social and spiritual home during her undergrad years — says Bamidele should have no trouble commanding a space as big as Fenway. She expects “Reebs,” as her close friends know her, to fill the ballpark with trademark warmth and energy.

“She’s joy personified,” McEvoy says. “When Reebs gets in the room, we’re all like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be a good time now.’”

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Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University