Excerpts from 2014 Commencement Addresses

Wheelock College held its Commencement Ceremonies on May 16, 2014. Following are excerpts from the addresses given at the Undergraduate and Graduate ceremonies.

Undergraduate Ceremony

Jackie Jenkins-Scott
Wheelock College President

"We have watched you mature with confidence, competence, grace, and excellent leadership skills. We couldn't ask for a more accomplished graduating class....We can't wait to see the impact you will make on the world."

"Our hope for you is that you will always live out the Wheelock mission to improve the lives of children and families. Whatever you do and wherever you serve, we hope you leave here with the confidence to know you can make a difference. You are destined to maked this a better world."

Dr. Howard K. Koh
Commencement Speaker for Undergraduate Ceremony

"I know all of you are asking, 'What's next?' How do I, in the best Wheelock tradition, inspire a world of good? How do I make a life, not just a living?'"

"When I was a young doctor in Boston, I was determined to cure everyone through direct patient care...But I came to recognize that far too many of my patients were suffering from preventable ailments and I knew I had to do more. I thought there had to be a better way....That's how the world of public health drew me in. That's how I found my calling. In the future, if you ever say, 'There has got to be a better way,' that could be your inner voice."

"Every day, try to connect with someone. Start with the person next to you in the classroom. Put down your smartphone and give them your full attention. Show them how much you care."

Read Dr. Koh's full speech (pdf)

Mary McNeil
Undergraduate Student Speaker

"As a generation, we are standing on the precipice of cultural, political, and economic change; thus, there are many questions that must be answered. What will our generation stand for? What are we going to accomplish?"

"While my favorite Wheelock shirt will always be the 'unapologetic idealist' tee, the aggressive crimson 'tough enough' shirts are really starting to grow on me too. I suppose that the reason I am such a fan of these shirts is because of their ernestness in describing the wearer; As Wheelock students, we represent a significant portion of the millenial generation that is not afraid or too proud to get our hands dirty in the the pursuit of life, liberty, and equality."

"In four short years, the Senior Class of 2014 has transformed from a group of 'unapologetic idealists' into a group that is 'tough enough' to turn their dreams into reality. As future social workers, teachers, child life workers, advocates, historians, artists, writers, thinkers, and doers, we are determined to work in our respective communities and rewrite our histories every single day."
 

Graduate Ceremony

David C. Banks
Commencement Speaker for Graduate Ceremony

"Time for each one of us is not endless. We all have a finite amount of time to do the things we were sent here to do. "I want to give you three pieces of advice related to time: take time to seek your purpose; take time to strive for personal excellence; and in time, dare to be great."

"When you focus on something, have a clear goal, and put in the work to make it happen, the universe will conspire to make it happen."

"The work you've done at Wheelock has not prepared you to be pretty good. You've been prepared to be great. The country needs you to be excellent."

"Living a life that matters does not happen by accident. It happens by choice. Choose to live a life that matters."

Jackie Jenkins-Scott
Wheelock College President

"The liberty of the individual and the pursuit of happiness depends on the liberty for ALL and the happiness for ALL. So, we hope you leave Wheelock as a courageous, passionate advocate for a just society."

Natasha Antoniak
Graduate Student Speaker

"So how can we also inspire a world of good and improve the lives of those around us? In short, we too, must 'feed the good.' I believe this can happen as we internalize as well as employ the education we've received here as we go throughout the world and communities before us."

"I am forever changed because we lived the lessons of our education, which intimately demonstrated that feeding the good leads to healing, resilience, and the perpetuation of more good."

"Therefore, when we witness injustice, we must continue to stand and advocate and, thus, feed the good. When we face fierce disagreements or see conflict amidst communities, we must seek to genuinely understand rather than dismiss others and, thus, feed the good. When we see the lonely, poor in spirit, outcast and ill, we must love them—not avoid or neglect them—and feed the good."

"Yoke your education to feeding the good—in yourself and in every situation around you. For real education is meant to liberate and uplift entire communities. It is meant to inspire the world and improve lives. It is meant to feed the good."

inspire a world of good

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