Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 4

Mitch Thrower: Salutations and welcome.

Mom and Dad, Members of the Board, President Peterson and last, but definitely not least, the graduating class of 1990. Wow, if you could only see how funny you look from up here. Do you think we could possibly arrange to have the processional hymn played one more time? Whatever happened to pomp and circumstance? Some of you may know me as the type-B personality that I am. Regardless, senior week is over, and today has arrived. Look at us. We have studied at Stratfordupon-Avon the works of Shakespeare. We have debated absolute morality. We have mined the materials with which we are building new personal foundations, and we have used an orange cup. And the scarlet and the brown used to be the two colors I disliked most. Now, they still are, not because of lack of meaning, but because they're very strange colors and they don't go together. However, the candle in the wilderness they call St. Lawrence will always hold a very special section of our hearts. I was thinking the other day--not an uncommon occurrence for a philosophy major--I was thinking about time. It seems like yesterday we were arriving in this town for the first time. Some of us did find Canton small. In fact, my roommate during freshman year, Tom, thought that the streetlights would dim when he plugged in his electric razor. But, time is a very curious thing. As we all sit here in our bodies, which are the ultimate time machines moving us second by second into the future, we grasp and try and grasp the present moment. There is a famous concept, that the end of the sentence I'm speaking right now is still in the future, but, after a few more words, it will be in the past. Do you remember that sentence a moment ago? Do you remember the first time that our legs hit the swings on the swing-set? Or how about the peeled mass of Elmer's glue that we took off our palms when we were little? The matchbox cars, the tooth fairy, the smell of Play-Doh, the back of cereal boxes, the times of fruit-striped gum, Crayola crayons melted on the radiator, and giant leaf piles that were more fun than bugs? Do you remember coming to St. Lawrence and being told to go for it in the chapel? Well, we went for it and we made it. And if we didn't, we have a little star next to our name in the program. Uh-oh. Do you remember Whitman Hall before it became the North Country Hilton? Do you remember the first snowball fight? The hassle of registration prior to computerization, or the hassle of registration after computerization? The second

place hockey team who lost because their goalie cheated? The vacuum cleaner in the library? I'm going to miss that thing. Huelett and Jenks when they were not connected, off limits and lacked that Pizza Hut? When Lee Hall was just a short drive from Whitman? Did you know that I've recently seen documentation that a mountain bike company helped fund the walking campus? These were the times before security had hats and a Bronco. These were the times when Lou Saltrelli took his clothes off on the campus to show us how to let down our walls. These were our college times. The times we will be quoting as, When I went to college, to our children. Speaking of children, they say that a high number of St. Lawrence graduates marry each other. Is this because of the tight bond we formed, or was it the cold Canton winters? Or is it perhaps the cold Canton summers? Or is it just a rumor, like the lady who left a large amount of money to the University as long as dogs were allowed to roam on campus and ice cream was served at all three meals? Well, the administration does know what its doing here. Look at Carnegie. They knew that the entire building had to be gutted, so they let us, as freshman, pay to begin its demolition in 1986. Well, what are we going to do with our lives? Thats a good question. The actual answers for this crowd will be as diverse as they are exciting. Its like the very question everyone asks high school seniors, Where are you going to college? Or undergraduates, What's your major? And now, What are you going to do with your life? Well, it is my firm belief it has become the mental equivalent of sharing M&Ms, but it does makes us think. Life doesnt start now. Weve been living it all along. Life, indeed, may not be a destination, but a journey. Were almost one-fourth of the way through our lives, and how do our feet feel? And where is the map of this journey? If we were forced, however, to pick a recent destination, it would have to be the senior week for the class of 1990, which, by the way, is the best class St. Lawrence University has ever had the honor of educating. On our journey, we must attempt to put back into life more than we have taken out. We must seek laughter, friendship, enrichment, health and love because so many think life ends too soon, while the real problem is that so many people wait so long to begin it. Begin your life today. Begin four seconds ago when I said begin

your life today. On a kitchen refrigerator magnet at home, the quote stands, There are two things we give our children. One is roots. The other is wings. Our wings have all now been made strong. It is our time to fly higher than we have yet ever imagined. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Ralph Gangi once said, Smile now. Cry later. Good advice. We will have years to cry about our graduation, but its now down to hours before we hug the best of friends at the conclusion of the best of times. Celebrate now. Smile now and hold onto this present moment before it slips through your fingers onto the pages of the gridiron. Often, the most impressive and meaningful achievements are overlooked. Yesterday, without our knowledge, the class of 1990 received the best possible graduation present. Thanks in great part to the efforts of and care of the class, as well as the entire St. Lawrence community, Lauren Matura, class of 1989, is making dramatic strides. Lauren, who suffered a serious accident causing paralysis several years ago, is the bearer of this gift. For the first time since her accident, Lauren used her own hands to write. She chose to do this in the form of a congratulations to Byron Martin, class of 90, a close personal friend of hers and an individual who's made a large commitment to her recovery. This is nothing short of a miracle. And we should realize two important things from this - how lucky we all are, and that our love, prayers and effort as a community can help. We love you, Lauren. Now, as we approach the end of my speech, Id like to give a special thank you, and in a way Im speaking for everyone here. The pride in this audience is immeasurable, overflowing and overwhelming. At this point, I'd like to ask briefly the class of 1990 to rise. Now, for a moment, please turn around and face your parents. Please give your parents, for all they have done for you, a standing ovation. Thank you, Mom and Dad. That smile, that photo, the laugh that says, Thats my child. God, Im proud, that smile can be seen miles from here. Thats because Clarkson is graduating today as well. Mom and Dad, thank you for giving us the world and our wings with which we will see it. I love you. In conclusion, I would like to give you all a very special gift, the gift of perspective. Its a secret and a bit complicated. Ten years from now, you were all given a very

special gift. You looked back on your life and realized that you wanted to start again. You made a wish upon a star. You wished that you could go back and relive everything without making any mistakes or without making as many, that you could go back to your college graduation day and start again. To make it simple, your wish was granted, and, when you walked down that aisle, you stepped back into your past. You stepped right to the point where you now stand or now sit. Your memory of what happened is buried deep inside your mind. I would like to be the first to welcome you back. I would like to say in conclusion that I wish the best for all of you. Bidding you all the best, I am proud to know you, and it has been a pleasure to address you today. Thank you very much.