Baccalaureate Reading By Diane J. Kim ’12

“I Want to Go to There”
In honor of Tina Fey’s greatest utopia

In looking for a college, I remember thinking to myself; I want to go to there.
Where terms like “gay” and “queer” are not associated with an insult
Where the people, men or women, who sit through discourse heavy, academically rigorous, politically correct discussions,
leave as proud feminists

I want to go to there
Where I can go to my classes and with strength and conviction raise my voice
Where I am heard for the potential of my mind and not the stereotypes of my history
Where the color of my skin, the upbringing of my socioeconomic class, the orientation of my sexuality, the affirmation
of my religious beliefs, the self-identification of my gender, the ability of my body, and the age of my youth do not deter
me from learning and earning a college education from an institution of prestige and high quality

Fortunately, for those sitting here today in caps and gowns, we went here.

We went here.
A here where we learned to put our chins up, shoulders back, and hold our ground when people try to push us down.
A here that taught us to listen to the deep part of ourselves that recognizes when something is unjust, and prepares us to
use our minds in becoming active global citizens; a here where we learned to not only raise our voice when it needs to be
heard, but a here that also taught us to listen; while differentiating that from silence. We went here as we were taught to
think critically, to challenge what’s been accepted, and to make right what’s been the status quo.

And we sit here today, as we discovered that what we learned here is not limited by the time we spent at Mount Holyoke,
but by the application of our education in how we imagine to change the world as we so hope to see it.

The question remains, then, not where we went, but where we are to go next?