I had the wonderful fortune to attend my daughter's graduation from Bard College this weekend. Bard is a liberal arts college and most of the students come from affluent families.
But not all. Bard runs a Prison Initiative at the Eastern Correctional Facility in New York State. The men and women in this program receive a Bard education, including the completion of a senior thesis. Ordinarily, and for the obvious reason, the Prison Initiative holds its commencement in the prison. But one of the prisoners was released (after serving 11 years) in time to complete his degree on the main campus, so he participated in that commencement.
He received several minutes of standing ovation when he walked across the stage. It was almost as if he was a human being, and his intellectual and personal development actually mattered.