CHICAGO, IL (March 18, 2015) – With March half over, spring really is almost here. There’s the promise of warmer temperatures, leaves on the trees, and green grass. But there probably are few people happier than graduating college and university students. Finals are done and all that remain are the final words of wisdom from the heralded commencement speaker.
Some of these speakers will be funny like Conan O’Brien, who told graduating students at Dartmouth that earning their diploma was something only 92 percent of Americans their age had accomplished and warned what could happen if they had not put themselves through school. “I’m talking about dropout losers like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg. Incidentally, speaking of Mr. Zuckerberg, only at Harvard would somebody have to invent a massive social network just to talk with someone in the next room.”
Perhaps they will be more filled with dire urgency as when Franklin Roosevelt told the graduating class of Oglethorpe University amid the Great Depression, “The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. … The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.”
Of course, most will not be nearly so funny nor so historic, but we on the Companion staff were wondering, “If you could invite anyone in history to speak at your graduation, who would you ask?”
Answer in the comment section below, on the CovMagazine Facebook page, or Cathy Norman Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll publish a selection of your responses in the May/June Companion and others online. Please include your name, your church, and the town where you live.