Academic Ceremonies - December Commencement
Connor D. Daley, Class of 2014
President of the Student Government Association
Good morning and welcome! There’s an old proverb that goes, “a wise man speaks when he has something to say. A fool speaks when he has to say something.” So, naturally, I was asked to say something today.
But I think I also have something to say.
First, I’d like to say congratulations to all of the graduates. You have today completed a challenge that only a small part of the world has an opportunity to engage in, and that a still smaller part then completes as well. I have not yet reached the point you all have. To be honest, for me college has seemed rather arbitrary sometimes. You go to class, you read a book, you write a paper or fool around in a lab; you do everything that you’re supposed to do while trying to figure out what you want to do.
We all have expectations about the future, and I expected college to define for me the three things that I have truly struggled with. For me I wanted college to define the concept of time, the concept of innovation, and the concept of love. And it hasn’t. And that’s why I thought it was sometimes arbitrary.
College has taught me that that arbitrariness is instead a challenge. And it is the quintessential challenge of our times that with as much information, with as much knowledge available to us, and how easy it is to communicate with anybody and everybody, it is still no easier to find yourself. College has taught me instead that that challenge is not about choosing what you want to define or what you want to do, it’s about learning how you want live.
We are all here today: you, the people behind me, but most importantly the people surrounding you, because we celebrate that the time you spend discovering how you want to live is completely your own and we are extremely proud of you for it.
So if I have something to say, it’s that is fine to have high expectations, but do not define yourself by them. As you enter the world, sometimes you just have to shut up and take a risk. Because you never know what you’ll be able to create, you never know how much time you have to do it, and you’ll never know what you’ll fall in love with.
As you listen today about your accomplishments, your potential, and your future, also take a moment to appreciate the weight of this moment as a celebration of you, because you have exceeded all of our expectations.
Last modified January 15 2014 01:32 PM