Help Search Campus Map Directories Webmail Home Alumnae Academics Admission Athletics Student Life Offices & Services Library & Technology News & Events About the College Navigation Bar
MHC Home Office of Communications

Vista College Street Journal Articles from the MHC Community

The New SAT Policy The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2010

Musicorda Odyssey Bookshop (MHC's textbook seller) Facts About MHC MHC Events and Calendar Five College Events Arts Calendar Academic Calendar This Week at MHC Faculty Bios Contact Information Press Releases

Jane F. Garvey's Commencement Address

The 2003 commencement remarks of Jane F. Garvey:

President Creighton, distinguished faculty, friends, members of the Board of Trustees—thank you very much. This is a singular honor for me, particularly to receive this in the company of such exemplary recipients, leaders in their field--and to receive the degree from Mount Holyoke, a place I love, among women I admire.

Thomas Wolfe was wrong: You can go home again, and it’s quite wonderful!

And to the graduates, I have some idea what it takes to get through here, so congratulations—and you look terrific!

By the way, could I ask the senior women who invited my son to the graduating party last night one question? Where is he?!?

Many, many years ago when I sat where you are sitting, President Kennedy had challenged my generation to fight for civil rights, to join the Peace Corps, explore space and carry the American dream to every corner of our country.

Now it’s your turn, and that’s quite wonderful.

I remember sitting there thinking, I wish I had a dollar for every time someone had asked: So what are you going to do with the rest of your life?

But I would suggest today one question is more important, and that is: How are you going to live your life?

The fact is, you are about to enter a world where you will no longer be judged by your grades but by your character. You will be judged by the promises you keep, the changes you make, your guts and your heart. In short, you will by judged by the kind of citizen you are.

When I graduated, perhaps like you, I didn’t know where the world would take me, but I promised myself I’d never play it safe and I kept that promise.

My deepest hope is that you won’t play it safe either, that you’ll take some risks, aim higher, and aim higher still. With each step it becomes a little more risky but always more rewarding.

Today I congratulate the phenomenal women of Mount Holyoke's class of 2003.

But in so doing….a word to the parents. I’m thinking of those days in the 80’s when most of today’s graduates were born. I’m thinking of all of the homework you helped them do in the early years—all the homework you couldn’t help them do in the later years, all those love affairs, real and imagined you had to endure. All the sleepless nights in high school, but you’ve done it! And I congratulate you as well…but I will tell you, it’s not over yet.

Home | Directories | Web Email | Calendar | Campus Map | Search | Help

About the College | Admission | Academics | Student Life | Athletics
Offices & Services | Giving | News & Events | Alumnae | Library & Technology

Copyright © 2005 Mount Holyoke College. This page created and maintained by Office of Communications. Last modified on March 17, 2005.

History of Mount Holyoke College Facts About Mount Holyoke College Contact Information Visit Mount Holyoke College Viritual Tour of MHC About Mount Holyoke College