The school gave Jeff Bauman an honorary degree at its commencement.
“Life throws you all kinds of different pitches,” Bauman said. “You just have to be patient and never quit and never give up.”
Bauman was on Boylston Street watching his then-girlfriend Erin finish the 2013 Boston Marathon when the first bomb went off. The explosion blew off both his legs and nearly cost him his life.
Bauman testified in the trial that found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of the bombing.
“Testifying was tough,” he said. “I never testified in a federal case before. I don’t think a lot of people have, so that was nerve-wracking.”
At the commencement, Bauman delivered his message to graduates, saying that life may knock them down, but it will only make them stronger.
“They have a lot of goals ahead, they have to pass the bar. So my message is you have to stay positive, and you have to attack your goals. Even if you do fail, come back and go at it again. (That’s) what it’s all about,” Bauman said.
It’s been almost a month since Tsarnaev was sentenced to death for carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing. Bauman said that wasn’t what gave him closure.
“I’m just glad that I don’t have that feeling of fear,” he said. “My girlfriend, (now) my wife, was very scared when they were loose. Then the Watertown Police Department laid the smack down on them, and got them. After that, I wasn’t scared, and that was kind of like my closure.”
Bauman said he is looking forward to life with his wife and their 11-month-old daughter, Nora.
“She’s up at 7 a.m. screaming at me. ‘Dada, wake up.’ But it’s amazing,” he said. “It’s an amazing life and I’m extremely lucky to be here and to be alive and to have what I have.”