September 6, 2011
President Pasquerella, honored colleagues and soon-to-be-soaked sisters and scholars: It’s my joy to welcome you, the class of 2015, and to welcome back our returning classes of 2014, 2013, our Frances Perkins Scholars in all classes, and especially our senior class of 2012. As you begin this academic year, may your time here be framed with these thoughts from two amazing Mount Holyoke alumnae, both of whom won Pulitzer Prizes.
The first, Suzan-Lori Parks, shares this wisdom for your life’s journey, including your sojourn here at Mount Holyoke: She says, "BE BOLD. ENVISION YOURSELF LIVING A LIFE THAT YOU LOVE … Believe that the sort of life you wish to live is, at this very moment, just waiting for you to summon it up." So summon it up; love learning, love getting to know new people, live the life that you were meant to live; that’s what brought you to Mount Holyoke to begin with.
The other, who is now deceased, but whose words will live on forever, is Wendy Wasserstein. Her counsel to you is simple: “Don't live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable.”
Yes, go out there—to your classrooms, your dorms, your field placements, and your faith groups … to your study groups, your athletic teams, and your SGA committees … go out there among your classmates, your roommates, and perhaps even your soul-mate, and do something remarkable simply by being you.
Be the best you that you can be; care for yourself; care for others. You are buds of promise and we eagerly await the flowering of your remarkable and beautiful lives. We pray God’s richest blessings upon you as you embark upon this year.
(Note: This printed text may vary from the speech delivered.)