Senior class president will celebrate friendships during Commencement speech

Varun Mehrotra served as class president for three years; leader at First Year Center, Chimes Junior Honorary, Delta Sigma Pi 

Mehrotra at Busch Stadium (Credit: Courtesy Photo)

The hard part is over. Washington University in St. Louis Senior Class President Varun Mehrotra managed to throw out the first pitch at Tuesday’s Cardinals game without tripping on the field or missing the catcher.

“The pitch was amazing,” Mehrotra said. “I can say I have successfully checked off a childhood dream.”

Less daunting, Mehrotra said, will be today’s speech in front of thousands of fellow graduates, WUSTL faculty, family members and his idol, Hall of Fame baseball manager and Commencement speaker Tony LaRussa.

“Public speaking, I like,” Mehrotra said. “Throwing out that pitch was way more intimidating.”

Mehrotra, a double major in economics and strategy and in international business, in Olin Business School, won’t offer his classmates any advice. What does he know, he asked. But he will remind them that they will forever be connected by this place, this time.

“I’m in their shoes — I’m a 22-year-old young man who is about to embark on the next chapter of his life. I’m just as scared and worried as they are,” Mehrotra said. “So I’ll be talking about the most important aspect of college — the people. College is not about staying up to 5 a.m. to finish a paper. You’re never going to remember that. But you will remember the nights you stayed up late to talk or to go to the Village to get a chicken and waffle. The degree is wonderful and I’m proud, as everyone is, to have accomplished this amazing feat. But I’m going to remember my friends.”

What Varun Mehrotra will miss most about WUSTL

The Olin Business School
“The business school has challenged me a lot. I know almost every single person in my major. I love the community there.”

First Year Center
“I loved hanging out there. Danielle Bristow and Katharine Pei were always there for me.”

Happy Hour
“Always fun. Who knows when the next time will be that I get free beer and pizza every Thursday.”

Mehrotra attended Lafayette High School in suburban St. Louis. He applied to more than a dozen businesses schools across the country before choosing WUSTL, where his older brother Anchit (AB ’10) was studying health-care management and biology.

Mehrotra served as class president every year except his junior year, when he studied in England. While at WUSTL, he had leadership roles with Chimes Junior Honorary, Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity and the First Year Center executive board.

After graduation Mehrotra will travel around North America as an Anheuser-Busch global management trainee. He said his time at WUSTL has prepared him for that next step.

“I’m grateful that I’ve had these experiences,” Mehrotra said. “I don’t think another school would have challenged me this way and provided me all of these opportunities to grow.”