Dear teachers, dear classmates:
Time flies. In the twinkling of an eye, three years have passed. We must say goodbye to our dear teacher, and we must say goodbye to our classmates. No campus corner has left our footprints. Wherever we go, whatever we see, we can evoke a string of memories.
Thinking back three years ago, we came together with innocence and hope. We are energetic and enthusiastic, and we are full of vision and expectation for the future. In the past three years, we have been enjoying the intense and intense school life in the sweat and feeling the concern of the teacher. In the study, we are in the teacher's inculcate teaching gradually sensible, in the teacher's patient and meticulous teaching happy learning; in life, we are in the teacher's care under the care of the healthy growth, in the teacher's care to feel the warmth of the family. Thousands of words do not mean our friendship with teachers. We can not finish our lingering nostalgia for teachers. Three years of study and life, more than 1000 days and nights, a teacher and teacher to talk to the heart of the heart, there is a teacher's enthusiastic guidance, by the school leadership of the teachings in the busy schedule. There are encouragement, criticism, communication and guidance, all of which are the most precious wealth in our hearts.
The mid-term exam is, after all, the first most sacred test in our life, and its pressure can be imagined. You know, teacher, your affectionate gaze is our strongest dependence. I believe that all the sweat and ideals of hard work will be transformed into a good news report. We know that it is the best reward for your long selfless dedication.
Yes, we are full of confidence in this. Teacher, I feel your expectations, your eyes. Now I can still remember every smile you have, every time you talk, your every lesson is still fresh in our mind. Without recollection, everything is so vivid and very gratifying. Teacher, we really do not want to talk about leaving, we are deeply attached to you and * * campus.
We should follow the school style of civilization, enterprising, realistic and innovative. Under the encouragement of the school motto of Ming and Germany, the learning, the diligence and the seeking, we should study hard and innovate under the inspiring of learning good thinking, respecting teachers and keeping discipline, improving themselves and developing harmoniously.
We want to graduate from the alma mater and face the teachers and younger brothers and sisters, we hope that you will cherish the time, study hard and fight hard. Facing the beloved teachers, we wish you health, the smooth work, the peach and plum all over the world; in the face of the dear alma mater, we want to engrave you in the heart, no matter in the future. Wherever we go, we will be proud to say that we are alma mater.
I had the privilege of helping to celebrate members of our community who were recently sworn in as new United States citizens – graduates of the Harvard Bridge Program. Through their own hard work, and with the generous help of volunteer student and alumni tutors, they can now enjoy the full rights and privileges of citizenship – and the full sense of belonging that comes with it. It was truly an inspiring ceremony.
At a time when so many people are dispirited by the deep divisions in our country, when our politics seem so dysfunctional, our graduates are taking up the cause of public service by running for office in record numbers. The world needs them, and their willingness to serve gives me hope.
As Margaret noted, this past year, I traveled to meet alumni who are helping to strengthen communities in Detroit, Dallas, and Houston; in Miami, Phoenix, and New York; in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego – in China, Japan, and England – people who are not only launching and building businesses and creating opportunity, but people who are also teaching, volunteering, advancing important legislation, working for non-profits, and serving the public good.
For every person I’ve named, for every example I’ve cited, there are thousands of other Harvard citizens – students and alumni, faculty and staff – who are making the world better in more ways than we could possibly imagine. That is the power of this institution – not its brand, not our buildings, not our pomp and circumstance as wonderful and terrific as that is. This University, Harvard, is its people – their aspirations, their achievements – their diversity of background, experience and thought – their desire to see beyond themselves and their devotion to serving others.
So, yes, I am an optimist. I’m an optimist because I live and work among all of you – because I see what you can do and because I know the boundless potential of what you can do. May we look to one another for inspiration in the years to come. May the expectations placed on us be exceeded only by our ability to meet them. And may Harvard continue to be a wellspring of hope for the world. It’s an honor to serve you as your president.
Congratulations to our newest alumni – and thank you to all.
You’re about to hear a fine student response at the end of today’s program. (I know that because I get a sneak peek at those remarks.) But I wish you could also have heard the two talks given at last December’s winter commencements.
Jordan Cebulla told of being a poor student in high school here locally who almost abandoned any idea of higher education. But, told by a family friend that Lafayette is, quote, “a gritty town full of gritty people,” he gave Ivy Tech a try. And four years later, he is a Purdue alum. He told his classmates, “In the end, if we quit on ourselves, everyone else will quit on us, too.”
In his response speech, Seon Shoopman confided that, out of sixteen schools he applied to, Purdue was the only one to admit him, provided he attend our summer boot camp. Three and a half years later, he, too, earned his Purdue degree, with honors, becoming the first in his family to graduate from college. Seon said that, more than any other motive, he wanted to do it for the mother who had pushed him all the way. “When I wanted to quit, she told me not to. When I wanted to leave school, she told me not to. She told me to fight, be strong, and make something of myself.”
Some in today’s world think they have discovered something new in the concept of “grit.” A Harvard Business School article just last fall was titled “Organizational Grit,” and reported that, quote, “High achievers have extraordinary stamina. ... When easier paths beckon, their commitment is steadfast. Grit predicts who will accomplish challenging goals.” So that’s why a Harvard MBA costs 200 grand.