Monday, June 8, 2015

A Grand Kickoff!

At commencement you wear your square-shaped mortarboards. My hope is that from time to time you will let your minds be bold, and wear sombreros.  
Paul A. Freund, American jurist and law professor (1908-1992)

For my friends across the pond, in North American English the word "commencement" has denoted a graduation ceremony since at least 1850. Perhaps the good people back then realized that graduation does not so much signify the conclusion of years of study, but rather marks the dawn of a new adventure.

Contained in the word "commencement" is the sense of anticipation and of exciting new adventure. And while there may be some trepidation of what the future holds and concern about choosing what to do next, one needs to hold fast to the belief that the knowledge, skills and experience gained during those long hard years of study provide solid stepping stones for whatever path is chosen now and in the future. The achievements marked by commencement should stoke the courage to open wings and leap into the future.

And so I congratulate Justin and Jeanette, who both celebrated their commencements today, on their success and wish them the courage to believe in their accomplishments and themselves, and to go confidently in the direction of their dreams, wherever they may lead.

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