First, let me begin my saying, my graduation took place a long time ago.
Second, I had a 103 degree fever, the chills, the sweats, and one of the sorest throats I can ever remember having.
It was also the last time I had strep throat, which is a good thing for me, because I’ve developed an allergy to Penicillin.
Third, I have absolutely no recollection of who spoke, what was said, and what “lasting impression” I have from that day. I was sick. All I could think about was going back to my family’s house and going to bed.
I ran myself down at the end of the semester because I was studying, going to classes, and working in baseball. I worked a lot of hours, and I remember more of being at old Memorial Stadium than I actually remember of my last semesters of classes.
So today, when I watched the graduates go across the stage and receive their diplomas, I was so happy none of them was sick. They were cherishing and relishing every minute. ABC News Correspondent Byron Pitts was a captivating commencement speaker. “Don’t be indifferent,” he warned the graduates. “Go out into the world and contribute—make a change. It only takes one person to make a difference, whether it’s big or small.”
I have no doubt these students will remember his speech. It was one worth remembering. He had us all on our feet afterwards applauding his meaningful words.
One of the pluses of being a member of the faculty is that I get to hear some pretty dynamic speakers at each commencement I attend. I suppose that makes up for missing my own graduation message: I was physically there, but as you can surmise from my story, I was not at all present mentally.
Congratulations to our wonderful, smart, hard-working graduates at Stevenson University, Class of 2014. Be well, work hard, and stay in touch. We’ll miss you.