Despite the bad polyester and pompous circumstance, graduation is a big deal. It is the start of our students' adult lives, and the moment for them to begin putting into action all their hard-won truths.
I pride myself in my honesty with my students. I am as honest as I can possibly be with them. I'll give this advice to a few recent graduates before they leave, but it is here for anyone.
Though I have not lived long, nor have I done anything noteworthy enough to warrant an actual commencement speech, I accepted the challenge and forced myself to focus on one central message that I would, at this stage of my life, deliver to an [un]willing audience.
I am so grateful to the Seattle Pacific University community for their witness of strength, forgiveness, and deep faith. Yet I am heartbroken that they and so many other children, youths, and adults walk in fear on a daily basis and keep having to worry about experiencing this at all. Why is our nation saturated with guns-- four million in military and law enforcement hands and 310 million in civilian hands? Why are American children and teens 17 times more likely to die from gun violence than their peers in 25 other high-income countries combined? Why is our mental health system still so inadequate to respond to the cries of those needing help? When will we all say enough? We can and must do better.
Voting -- not just for President, but for your Senators, Congressmen, Governors, state legislators, mayors, and city council members -- can shift the directions of policies on wages, housing, education, and safety.
We're the newest recruits to join the age-old struggles against the violence of apathy and ignorance. While we can expect to venture into new areas of knowledge, and we may be the first to confront new illnesses, these forces of violence will be at work, and they are anything but new.
It takes a novelist to remind us of something that is difficult for us to see from our perspective at the center of our own experience, namely, that our lives follow the curve of a narrative.
Bill and I thought a lot about what we wanted to say, and we tried to imagine what might be helpful to the graduates, and we came up with a speech about optimism... with a twist. We talked about the times we felt least optimistic.
I can never remember if the word 'commencement' means beginning or ending. My knee jerk reaction is to think that it means ending, though my writer's mind quickly corrects it.
Slowing doesn't mean slacking off or settling for less, or not "giving it all you've got," he said. Instead, it is the gateway to fully paying attention and so to noticing the details and subtleties of what you're doing.
High school graduation etiquette involves several steps, for both future graduates and their friends and family.
Chairman Kovner, President Polisi, most distinguished honorees, dedicated family, friends, faculty, and to EACH of the talented, ambitious, courageous...
Having viewed numerous commencement photographs from women's colleges across the country, in this blog post, I'll share with you several of the images I found memorable.
Let us be unequivocal in stating how dangerous it is to think that you have ever finished learning. If you believe that after college, that section on your resume labeled "Education" will be checked off forever, you're wrong.
College graduation was especially sweet for Jennifer Eadie. A first-generation student, she's the first woman in her family to graduate from college.
Be fool enough to be kind even when it gets you nothing. Be fool enough to do what you love. Be foolish enough to dream loudly! Be fool enough to dance. Be a fool.