Academic Ceremonies - December Commencement
Julie L. Roberts, Professor of Linguistics
University Marshal and President of the Faculty Senate
I was getting ready to teach my last class of the semester, Structure of the English Language, or basic English grammar, and I decided to look for some quotes. Something to spice up the last review of English grammar and even add a spark to the diagramming of sentences.
I came across the following: (It is by Anonymous, as so many quotes are.) Knowledge is knowing that the tomato is not a vegetable. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
Also like many quotes that you can find by searching for ‘funny quotes’ on the Internet, this one sounds a lot more profound than it is. But it is amusing, and it actually brings up the following questions: what is the difference between knowledge and wisdom and what have you been about at UVM these last 2, 3, 4 or more years?
Have you been becoming wise or knowledgeable? More importantly, have you been collecting both and putting them together, integrating them, as you ready yourself to enter into the next chapter of your lives?
I would suggest that knowledge is the skills, the facts, the theories, that you acquire throughout your college career and of course all of your life. Wisdom, on the other hand, is the ability to use all of that to the betterment of yourself and your fellow citizens.
As a representative here today of the faculty with whom you have worked during your time here, I think it’s fair to say that we have worked hard to instill LOTS of knowledge. But we also hope that we have encouraged and inspired you to turn that knowledge into wisdom.
As you leave UVM I wish you both, but most of all, I wish you the wisdom to carry on and make of your lives the kind of success that I know, by virtue of having taught some of you in my classes and met many more of you, that you are capable of. Congratulations and have a wonderful, knowledgeable, and wise future. And a lot of tomato-free fruit salads.
Last modified January 15 2014 01:21 PM