June 07, 2015
Class of 2015:
I am not the first and I certainly won't be the last to tell you this, but I am proud of you. Each and every one of you. We each had to overcome so much to get to where we are today. In addition to any personal problems we were facing, we have written numerous research papers, pulled countless all-nighters, we have volunteered our time, we all beat the Knox plague and somewhere along the road we perfected the art of procrastination.
Our journeys after Knox will be very different, but right now, in this very moment I ask that you all ro close your eyes and take a deep breath. No, really, close them. Clear your mind and take a deep breath. Focus on nothing but this breath. Inhale. Exhale. Open your eyes. Yes, it is very important to focus on the many ways that we will change the world after graduation, but for right now, focus on the many ways that YOU have changed over the past four years and the many ways that we, as a class, have changed Knox.
There goes that word change again. Change can be a really scary thing. (Just ask any senior what they are doing after graduation. That answer can either be full of excitement or full of doubt. ) However, change is not always a bad thing. Some of the greatest things in life come from change. Knox has equipped us with the skills necessary to keep up with a rapidly changing environment. We have changed dorms four times, we have changed classes 12 times, the flunk day theme changes every year, the cost of tuition does, too. Look at us: we are pros at this!
I am confident that this class will go forth and continue to make change both within ourselves and in our society. We each stand here today on the shoulders of those that have come before us. Their shoulders make us taller, and my charge to you today is two fold. Number one: STAND UP. Stand up for what you believe in. Stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves, but most importantly, stand up so that those that come after you may stand on YOUR shoulders. Challenge number two is to say thank you. We did not get here today on our own. Thank every person that has contributed to you earning this degree today. Thank your parents, your family, your friends, your roommates, and your professors, too.
Each of our journeys has been different but each of us has something in common, that in a manner of minutes (if I can continue to make this brief) we will be Knox College alumni. Many say that a college degree provides you with the keys to enter a different world. As a first-generation college student this day is particularly important for me. But leaving this graduation today as official Knox alumni, I want you to keep one thing in mind we.are.Knox and therefore we.are.unstoppable.
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