When you arrived at Syracuse University, a world of wonder and opportunity opened up for you.
I hope your time here has awakened your passions, your aspirations, your values, and your sense of responsibility for others and the world we share together.
Most importantly, I hope you will always remember: It’s great to be Forever Orange.
Just as today calls for a celebration of your accomplishments, it also calls for recognition of those who have instructed, inspired and guided you – your professors, advisors, mentors so will all those faculty and staff seated in the audience or on the stage, please stand and be recognized?
This also a special day for those who love and support you – your families, loved ones and friends – I now ask you to stand and turn to those who give greater meaning to your accomplishments and thank them for their support…especially, the moms.
Our expression of gratitude on this momentous day would not be complete without recognizing the brave women and men who proudly serve our nation in uniform. Would those graduates who are military veterans or about to be commissioned, please stand if you are able and be recognized by your fellow graduates?
Thank you for your service.
Class of 2018, I hope your time at Whitman will always be a special part of you, as you will always be a special part of us.
They say higher education is a ‘gathering of gifts’ and we want to thank you for the gifts of time, talent and experience you’ve shared during your time with us. You are leaving our community even richer than you found it.
Our agenda today is to celebrate your contributions, your accomplishments and your promise for the future.
We’ll begin by hearing from two student representatives and one of our outstanding faculty members, then we’ll move on to recognition of the graduates.
Afterward, you are invited to join us for a reception in Flaum Grand Hall.
And now it’s time to say goodbye.
I don’t have a crystal ball to foresee your futures, but I do know that Syracuse University and Whitman have prepared you to thrive in this rapidly changing world.
Your special time here will serve you well.
Remember to live each day with a curious and open mind, a generous and grateful spirit and a burning devotion to inclusion, equity and justice wherever you go on this earth and whatever you do.
All of you carry within you the promise of extraordinary acts and great new ventures.
Go forth with the special character and traditions of this wonderful institution and bear them proudly.
We hope you will not forget us. We will keep a light on for you when you return to campus as alumni.
We wish you the best of everything.
We wish you uncomfortable and challenging lives, full of love, adventure and purpose.
We wish you good health and prosperity – and the wisdom to know that real success is not about wealth or power, but about how well you use your own success for the betterment of others and our world.
Thanks for the memories Class of 2018. Godspeed and Go Orange!
Watch the full video of Whitman’s undergraduate Convocation below:
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