Congratulations to the SMBHC Class of 2013!
The Honors College Commissioning Ceremony was held on Friday, May 10th, at the Gertrude Ford Center.
Douglas Odom’s Welcome
Blake Pruett’s Address
Ramsey Frey’s Charge
Thank you. Thank you to the entire Honors College administration and faculty for the most wonderful four years I could have imagined. You have pushed us, challenged us, and shown us that true learning involves being a citizen of the world and extends far beyond the walls of the classroom.
Four years ago, you placed us in our Freshman Ventures groups, gave us a five hundred dollar stipend, and sent us around the country to ask the question, “What do we owe future generations?” Over the last four years, our honors classes and professors, our community involvement, and the speakers at the Honors Convocations have kept us asking that same question.
Our presence at this graduation ceremony is evidence that others before us have not only asked but also answered that same question. We are all present here today because of the generosity of Jim Barksdale who had a vision for helping future generations. We are all successful here today because of the hard work we have put in over the last four years, yes, but also because of the support and love of our parents who have given selflessly of themselves over the last twenty-two years and the tireless dedication of the Honors College Administration and Faculty.
Now it’s our turn. What do we owe future generations? More specifically, what return on its investment in us can the Honors College expect?
In January of 1961, days before taking the presidential oath of office, John F. Kennedy took leave of his native state. Addressing the Massachusetts General Court, he asserted that our lives would be judged by the answers to four questions:
Were we people of courage, able to stand up for our beliefs?
Were we people of judgment, able to discern truth, and able to see both our own mistakes and the mistakes of others?
Were we people of integrity who never abandoned our principles?
And finally, were we people of dedication, devoted to helping others and serving the public good?
I submit to you that if we will answer these questions rightly, those who have invested in us will have no cause for regret.
Therefore, let us go forth from here today as citizens of the world, resolved to lead lives of courage, judgment, integrity, and determination.
Thank you. And may God bless you.