But make no mistake, engagement with the arts is integral to the experience of every Dartmouth student – not just those who actively create art. I grew up in a small mining town in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. A rough-and-tumble place, my town had no shortage of taverns, but not a single movie theater. So, when I arrived at Dartmouth in the fall of 1973, movies were a magnificent, unexplored terrain; and the Film Society became my obsession. My freshman fall, the Film Society ran a series of John Ford classics, and I marveled at these films – how they could stir such deep feelings with their irony and nostalgia. A year later, the Film Society became yesterday’s news when Springsteen played at the Hop.
For me, the arts at Dartmouth opened my mind to entirely new ways of thinking, helped me see the world as it is, and imagine the world as it could be.
Class of ’19, you embody Dartmouth’s lofty mission: to prepare our graduates to lead lives of leadership and impact. The arts have always been a magnetic presence on this campus exactly because they are core to that mission.
You have learned so much over the last four years. There’s very little I can say to you that you don’t already know. Some might even say you know it all. But seriously, if I could just add one little bit of wisdom, it’s this: that you will be powerful.
You, Dartmouth Class of 20xx, are individuals with enormous knowledge, skill, and capacity. Some of you will become entrepreneurs and CEOs. Some will be influential academics, journalists; others, great artists, jurists, athletes, and politicians. You will be great teachers, engineers, researchers, nurses, doctors, financiers, parents, social innovators.
It may take you one year or 30, but each one of you sitting out there today is going to be powerful. You are going to be in a position to set examples and to make decisions.
Yes, decisions that will affect not only your life, but also the lives of those around you: your families, your friends, your colleague – even me, if I live long enough.
And your decisions will also affect people you’ll never meet – future generations. So, that’s power. But power isn’t something we are necessarily born with knowing how to use well. There’s no instruction manual; there’s no guide to exercising power with care and restraint.
If any one of you has doubts about your own creative capacity, think again. Over these last four years, you’ve designed – with the help of our faculty, staff, and those around you – the greatest masterpiece of all: yourself.
Class of 20xx, I have every confidence that you will let your creativity reign as you seek to impact the world and become every bit the person you wish to be.
Congratulations, once more, to all of you! May you meet with success and happiness always, and forever keep Dartmouth close to your hearts. Congratulations.
I’d like to offer my best wishes to my fellow honorands; to the staff and faculty of the College; to the parents and families of the graduates, who have supported and guided them through all these years; and to all the graduates – this is your day! Congratulations!
You have not only completed four memorable years, you even made it, in whatever state you’re in, to commencement!
I could begin by telling you you’re special, but I suspect your families have already told you that. I could tell you that you’re smart, but I’m certain your professors have already told you that, too. That you’re accomplished is without question – just look at where you’re sitting today!
While data, evidence, logic, and reason provide one way to make sense of the world, the arts provide another: a distinct, yet complimentary mode of understanding oneself and experiencing the world, beyond facts and figures. Engagement with the arts has been shown to elevate resilience in the face of change, empathy and understanding of others, and capacity to solve problems.
And in today’s volatile world, having a well-developed creative capacity, in addition to strong analytic skills, is paramount. In fact, a 20xx World Economic Forum report placed creativity as one of the three most important work-related skills anticipated for 20xx.
So, my message to you today is simple: Never relinquish your paintbrush, your pen, your musical instrument, or any other creative tool at your disposal, because there is always another stroke, another stanza, another measure, another chapter in the work that will forever be known as you.
And when you see an opportunity to engage with the arts, or to support the arts, embrace it with all you’ve got.
So that’s why today – when your bags are packed, your friends are dispersing, and your place in this class is carved in stone – I want you to take a moment. Forget about the power you might have had here and think instead about the power you will have in the future – in 10, 20, 30 years – and promise yourself something. Promise yourself that when you find your power, you will use it thoughtfully, with restraint, and with good intention.
You will be powerful. And when you are, do not abuse your power. Ever.
Now, I’m sure that in the course of your lifetime, including the last four years, you have witnessed power and its abuse. When you were young, you probably saw it on the playground. You’ve seen it on this campus. We certainly have all seen it in our nation, and around the world.
In my own lifetime, I’ve seen too many people make decisions that put themselves before their community, before society, before the health of our planet. I’ve seen too many people who choose to build walls rather than bridges.
Sometimes, it’s because of the arrogance of their certitude, or because of simple, blissful unawareness. Sometimes, it’s because of their ego, or self-deception, and sometimes, it’s a deliberate act of revenge. Other times, it’s the primal, addictive pursuit of conquest – conquest of all kinds.
So what invention that you have buried in your mind? What idea? What cure? What skill did you have inside to bring out to this universe?Uni meaning one, verse meaning song, you have a part to play in this song. So grab that microphone and be brave. Sing your heart out on life's stage. You cannot go back and make a brand new beginning. But you can start now and make a brand new ending.
You may not know this, but I was on the sailing team all four years.
It wasn’t easy. Back then, the closest marina was a three-hour drive away. For practice, most of the time we had to wait for a heavy rainstorm to flood the football field. And tying knots is hard! Who knew?
Yet somehow, against all odds, we managed to beat Stanford every time. We must have gotten lucky with the wind.
Kidding aside, I know the real reason I’m here, and I don’t take it lightly.
Stanford and Silicon Valley’s roots are woven together. We’re part of the same ecosystem. It was true when Steve stood on this stage 14 years ago, it’s true today, and, presumably, it’ll be true for a while longer still.
The past few decades have lifted us together. But today, we gather at a moment that demands some reflection.
Fueled by caffeine and code, optimism and idealism, conviction and creativity, generations of Stanford graduates (and dropouts) have used technology to remake our society.
But I think you would agree that, lately, the results haven’t been neat or straightforward.
You know I learned a fact about airplanes the other day. This was – this was so surprising to see, I was talking to a pilot and he told me that many of his passengers think planes are dangerous to fly in. But he said actually, it is a lot more dangerous for a plane to stay on the ground. I say what? Like how does that sound what he said, he said because on the ground, the plane starts to rust.Malfunction and wear, much faster than it ever would if it was in the air. As I walked away I thought, yeah, makes total sense because planes were built to live in the skies. And every person was built to live out the dream they have inside. So it is perhaps the saddest loss to live a life on the ground without ever taking off.
Since that year – since the year I graduated – the poverty rate is down. Americans with college degrees, that rate is up. Crime rates are down. America’s cities have undergone a renaissance. There are more women in the workforce. They’re earning more money. We’ve cut teen pregnancy in half. We’ve slashed the African American dropout rate by almost 60 percent, and all of you have a computer in your pocket that gives you the world at the touch of a button. In 1983, I was part of fewer than 10 percent of African Americans who graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Today, you are part of the more than 20 percent who will. And more than half of blacks say we’re better off than our parents were at our age – and that our kids will be better off, www.pop18.com America is better. And the world is better, too. A wall came down in Berlin. An Iron Curtain was torn asunder.
Now, to the Class of 20xx: I want to express just how proud we are of all that you have accomplished during your time at Stanford, and of all the hard work that brought you to this stadium this morning.
Today, we will award 1,792 bachelor’s degrees, 2,389 master’s degrees, and 1,038 doctoral degrees.
For those students who are receiving bachelor’s degrees:
· 313 will graduate with departmental honors and 301 with university distinction.
· 106 have satisfied the requirements of more than one major and 33 are graduating with dual bachelor’s degrees.
· 451 of our seniors completed minors and 201 will graduate with both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.
As Stanford is proud to enroll students from all around the globe, many of our international students will receive their degrees today as well:
162 members of our undergraduate class hail from 55 countries and 79 countries are represented by the 1,077 international students who will receive their master’s and doctoral degrees.
Now, all the numbers I have cited illustrate the tremendous accomplishments of Stanford’s graduates and their potential to have a positive impact on our world.
Graduates, during your time at Stanford, our faculty and staff have dedicated themselves to nurturing that potential in each of you. And I want to take this moment to thank them for their ongoing support and encouragement.
See most of us are afraid of the thief, they comes in the night to steal all of our things. But there is a thief in your mind who is after your dreams. His name is doubt.If you see him call the cops and keep him away from the kids because he is wanted for murder. So he has killed more dreams than failure ever did. He wears many disguises and like a virus will leave you blinded, divided and turn you into a kinda.See kinda is lethal. You know what kinda is? There is a lot of kinda people, you kinda want a career change, you kinda want to get straight As, you kinda want to get in shape. Simple math, no numbers to crunch. If you kinda want something, then you will kinda get the results you want.
At other places, but I’m happy to say not yet at Purdue, students have demanded to be kept, quote, “safe” from speech, that is, mere words, that challenge or discomfit them. At one large university, one, quote, “study”, I enclose it in quotes, purported to find a quarter of the student body suffering from PTSD because of an election outcome. Referring to such young people, someone has coined the distasteful but descriptive term “snowflakes.”
Some find a cause in the social media, which have reduced personal interaction among your younger contemporaries. Easier grading in high schools can lead to an unexpected jolt when a student arrives at college, at least if it’s a place like Purdue where top grades are still hard to come by. Another diagnosis points to overprotective parenting that limits some children’s opportunities to play and explore in unsupervised ways that require them to solve problems and resolve conflicts on their own.
Because we all stem from Africa. So in Africa, there's been more time to create genetic diversity." In other words, race has no basis in biological or scientific fact. On the one hand, result. Right? On the other hand, my definition of self just lost a huge chunk of its credibility. But what was credible, what is biological and scientific fact, is that we all stem from Africa -- in fact, from a woman called Mitochondrial Eve who lived 160,000 years ago. And race is an illegitimate concept which our selves have created based on fear and ignorance.Strangely, these revelations didn't cure my low self-esteem, that feeling of otherness. My desire to disappear was still very powerful. I had a degree from Cambridge; I had a thriving career, but my self was a car crashand I wound up with bulimia and on a therapist's couch. And of course I did. I still believed my self was all I was. I still valued self-worth above all other worth, and what was there to suggest otherwise?
The television execs fired Oprah said she was unfit for TV but she kept going. Critics told Beyoncé that she couldn't sing she went through depression. But she kept going.Struggle and criticisms are prerequisites for greatness. That is the law of this universe and no one escapes it. Because pain is life but you can choose what type? Either the pain on the road to success or the pain of being haunted with www.pop18.com want my advice? Don't think twice.We have been given a gift that we call life. So don’t blow it. You’re not defined by your past instead you were born anew in each moment. So own it now.Sometimes you've got to leap. And grow your wings on the way down. You better get the shot off before the clock runs out because there is ain't no over time in life, no do over. And I know what sound like I'm preaching on speaking with force but if you don't use your gift then you sell not only yourself, but the whole world. Sure.
As I was preparing these remarks, I realized that when I was first elected President, most of you – the Class of 20xx – were just starting high school. Today, you’re graduating at college. I used to joke about being old. Now I realize I’m old. (Laughter.) It’s not a joke anymore. (Laughter.)
But seeing all of you here gives me some perspective. It makes me reflect on the changes that I’ve seen over my own lifetime. So let me begin with what may sound like a controversial statement – a hot take.
Given the current state of our political rhetoric and debate, let me say something that may be controversial, and that is this: America is a better place today than it was when I graduated from college. (Applause.) Let me repeat: America is by almost every measure better than it was when I graduated from college. It also happens to be better off than when I took office – (laughter) – but that’s a longer story. (Applause.) That’s a different discussion for another speech.
But think about it. I graduated in 1983. New York City, America’s largest city, where I lived at the time, had endured a decade marked by crime and deterioration and near bankruptcy. And many cities were in similar shape. Our nation had gone through years of economic stagnation, the stranglehold of foreign oil, a recession where unemployment nearly scraped 11 percent. The auto industry was getting its clock cleaned by foreign competition. And don’t even get me started on the clothes and the hairstyles. I’ve tried to eliminate all photos of me from this period. I thought I looked good. (Laughter.) I was wrong.