Commencement 2011 Speech Excerpts

President Jackie Jenkins-Scott's Opening Remarks
Undergraduate Student Speaker Brittany Wheaton's Remarks
Graduate Student Speaker Sobhan Namvar's Remarks
Commencement Speaker Mary Robinson's Remarks
President Jackie Jenkins-Scott's Closing Remarks

President Jackie Jenkins-Scott's Opening Remarks

Good Morning and welcome to the 123rd Wheelock College Commencement exercise. Our 2011 Commencement is being held in this beautiful sanctuary of our neighbor,Temple Israel. This is our fourth year at Temple Israel, and we are so grateful to Rabbi Ronne Friedman and the entire congregation of Temple Israel for their generous hospitality and warm friendship. We couldn't ask for a better alternative to our own campus than here in the historic and beautiful Temple Israel. Please give Rabbi Friedman and the entire Temple Israel Community a rousing Wheelock applause of thanks for their friendship and kind generosity.

I extend a warm welcome to the husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, other caregivers, family, and friends of our graduates. We are so pleased to have you with us as we "bear witness" to this milestone accomplishment of our graduates. We are most privileged and grateful to have been a part of your family member's life for the past few years. The entire Wheelock community shares in your pride and happiness on this very special day.

To our faculty and staff, we thank you and applaud you for the many ways in which you have helped prepare our class of 2011 to enter the professional world of work, to continue their education, or to pursue travel or other learning opportunities. We know that Wheelock is a unique institution not only because of our special calling—to educate practitioners and leaders who are committed to our mission of improving the lives of children and families—but also because of you, our talented and exceptional faculty.

Our students tell us how your close and personal relationship with each of them, your devotion to excellence in teaching and scholarship, and your untiring efforts to help them thrive is truly what makes Wheelock the very special college it is. On behalf of our students, thank you.

To the Class of 2011: Congratulations! You are graduating at a most historic time in our nation. It is a troubling and uncertain time—full of challenges and yes, full of opportunity. In these most troubling, uncertain, and challenging times, you have persisted, you have prevailed, you have overcome adversities and you are here today—graduating. Congratulations! We honor you and we are so proud of each and every one of you.

And it is during these times of challenge and uncertainty that we appreciate with much gratitude and love the support of family and friends.

You are here today having achieved a very significant accomplishment. You set a goal, worked hard, and you achieved your goal. Many, many students cannot make the same claim.

I'm sure you can think of several people who started out here at Wheelock with you and are not celebrating with you today. On behalf of the entire Wheelock family, I salute you with warm and affectionate congratulations!

Now the fact of the matter is that you didn't do it alone, you had help and much support: A family member cheering you on, showing up at Wheelock when you forgot or needed something or to see you participate in a college activity; a phone call at just the right moment when you needed to hear a reassuring voice; a faculty member that gave you advice and help with a problem; a classmate who helped you with a difficult assignment or completed more than his or her share of the project. And for those of you who are lucky enough to have someone here today, I ask that you give a symbolic gesture of your gratitude, here today, at this your graduation. Please stand and throw a kiss, give a wave, a smile or quietly whisper "thank you" to that person.

Now, please give a wave to all our family and friends who are watching this ceremony down the street at the Wheelock Family Theatre and those who are watching this ceremony live on their home or office computer.

One of my favorite Wheelock tee shirts says "unapologetic idealist" in bright bold letters. I love seeing so many of you in that shirt. You our class of 2011 assisted us in finding the words to express our values and our aspiration for each of you, our most remarkable students. Yes, you have left your impact on Wheelock. You helped to design our beautiful new Campus Center, You lived through two years of construction with an impressive spirit of cooperation and support; you brought male sports to Wheelock College and in only one year propelled our basketball and tennis teams into conference finals; you started many new clubs and organizations on campus including a most impressive autism club, the Black Students Union, and several community service organizations.

You led the way in responding to the earthquake in Haiti, and you continued to raise money for Haiti a year after that devastating disaster. You are exceptional scholars and role models for our growing student population. And you helped us to develop the Wheelock Compact, including our special message to students urging them to inspire a world of good. You are leaving your impact on Wheelock College, and we can't wait to see and learn about the impact you will make on the world! Our aspiration for you is that you continue to be an unapologetic idealist as you progress through the many ups and downs of your personal and professional life.

Our 2011 Commencement theme, "Advocating on Behalf of Children: Inspiring a World of Good," builds on the inspiration of the Wheelock Compact that you helped to develop.

Today we honor three exceptional people who are passionate and are themselves unapologetic idealists. They have spent their entire professional lives Advocating on Behalf of Children: Inspiring a World of Good.

Professor Eric Reeves, a distinguished Renaissance scholar and professor of English Language and Literature at Smith College, is respected world-wide as a passionate advocate for children and families suffering from the violent conflict and genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Our own Wheelock College alumna Bonnie Neugebauer is widely known for her success in creating community among early childhood care and educational professionals throughout the world, and our amazing Commencement Speaker President Mary Robinson, the first female president Ireland, is truly an example of a world leader who advocates on behalf of all children, especially the world's poorest and most vulnerable.

We believe you, our Wheelock graduates, are on a path to advocate on behalf of children and to inspire a world of good. You will live this mission in many ways: classrooms, community organizations, hospitals, and courtrooms. Some of you will go into elective office, while others will help to make public policy. Others of you will be extraordinary homemakers and volunteers.

Some of you will become exceptional entrepreneurs and business leaders. Others will serve in many ways that we can't even imagine today.

What we hope is that you will always be advocates on behalf of children and families, that you will always live our Wheelock mission to improve the lives of children and families. We need more leaders who are commitment to service, committed to these important values and ideals, whether here in Boston, in this state, in this country and in this world. Our hope is that you leave here empowered with the knowledge and confidence that you can make a difference—you can inspire a world of good. In fact, you are destined to make this a better world. With the excellent education and the outstanding opportunities you have received, we also hope you leave here with the courage, the compassion, and the commitment to speak truth for what is right and just—it is the way you will inspire a world of good and truly live up to our mission to improve the lives of children and families.

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Undergraduate Student Speaker Brittany Wheaton's Remarks

Good Morning, I am beyond grateful to be speaking to you all today on behalf of the undergraduate class. I would first like to begin with giving thanks.

Thank you Wheelock Faculty and staff, you have created yet another generation of innovative thinkers, persistent advocates and exceptional teachers.

And thank you mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings and loved ones, you have supported us when we stayed up too late watching the Celtics, or Red Sox, and you have sent us emergency money when we forgot how to budget our own; But most importantly you have embedded strong morals within us, and expectations that have motivated us to flourish, and exceed the visions and dreams you have for us. And, of course, signed our loan statements!

Class of 2011 we are distinguished group of students.

In just four short years we have experienced many historical and technological advances. We have witnessed the evolution of the iPod to the iPad, documented our entire day on Twitter, got addicted to our Blackberries, and checked TMZ 5 times a day.

As amazing as technology has been, the world around us has also changed profoundly. We have witnessed the inauguration of the first African American President, Barack Obama, mourned the death of Michael Jackson, sympathized with the quakes and aches of Haiti, Chile and Japan, and dealt with the plight of war.

However global or local, these occurrences have compelled us to dig deep and discover what it means to be a Wheelock Student.

We have not only witnessed these catastrophic events, but we have collectively organized, and responded as frontline humanitarians.

We have not only memorized our mission statement (The crowd will say..)

But we have truly immersed ourselves in the human condition.

Wheelock's mission coupled with our own individual ideologies, has naturally compelled us to challenge our norms, transcend our prejudices and shatter our doubts.

This transformation has merited this senior class the courage to rebuild the wards of New Orleans, face the slave castles of West Africa, Learn Spanish to teach children in Mexico, and mentor hundreds of children and youth in Boston. My estimates tell us that we have collectively given over 15,000 hours of service.

We have worked to change the world, and the world has become us.

This is the Human Condition; all of us working toward a common goal.

We create the Human Condition by feeding our zest for truth.

We create the Human condition when we make sexism, classism and racism relevant in the lives we live.

And we create the Human Condition when we speak out to all injustices.

I am not simply talking about world peace; I am talking about human to human accountability, respect and dignity. It is our duty to find happiness in making others happy, something we call UBUNTU here, "I am because you are."

It is important to acknowledge the undying reciprocation of love that is generated through the Human Condition.

I discovered this overwhelming feeling while in a remote village in Chennai, India. In this village I stayed with a local Organization named RIDE, there sole mission was to save children who had suffered sexual and physical exploitation. During the course of my stay I met a little girl named Shriya. Shriya was a four-year-old girl who had been bought out of slavery by the organization for just 200 dollars.

During my stay I grew an indescribable bond with Shriya, and for days we played and tried to converse about different topics. But before I left, her once-Hindu accent vanished when she clearly asked me, "when will you be back"

Almost instinctually, I said, "I'll be back"...My response was as swift as we say, "How are you?" without caring for an in-depth response.

As I left, I was struck by how profound Shriya's question was.

And I began to ask myself, "Brittany, when will you be back? "Brittany, when will you be back?"

So today, my fellow graduates I ask you...When will you be back? When will you be back to the communities and countries you visited?

When will you go back to New Orleans and finish what you started, when will you go back to your Jumpstart sites, and when will you go back and revisit the reason why you came to Wheelock in the first place?

Seniors, I am more than convinced that we are ready for the world.

And I'm positive that the world is ready and eager for the passion we have to offer it.

Our paths have all been different, some harder than others. However, know that there is no singular or fixed path for our futures.

Your future will depend on the variety of people you choose to let in your life, the experiences you choose to embark on, and the fears you decide to leave here in your seats today.

Graduates, I am beyond honored to be standing in front of the world's best graduating class.

The time has come, the choice is yours.

Turn to your parents and shout, "We did it"

Thank you.

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Graduate Student Speaker Sobhan Namvar's Remarks

First, Congratulations to my colleagues, thank you to our faculty and staff, and welcome to our families and friends. I stand humbly but proud before you and recall our collective journey to becoming professional change agents. This journey for many of us started long before we even knew. But for the past two years at Wheelock, I have been lucky enough to have met many graduate students, whom are connected and dedicated to their cultures, communities and families. But more importantly, they are people with big hearts who have a certain passion to change the world around them. They are a unique group who allowed their stories to motivate, empower, and guide them to look for more than just good enough, and to look for more than just ordinary. A group that has taken extraordinary measures to change the world around them for the better and to create a world in which caring, justice, and safety is an expectation for children and families rather then an exception.

As we move forward in a world where technology erases borders, and communities unite families from different religions, backgrounds, ethnicities, races, and cultures, I feel lucky to have had an education with a curriculum emphasizing human rights, a generalist view, and a strength-based focus to improve the lives of the children and families in our communities and beyond. We have learned to empower, educate, and collaborate, as we are all one; a collective power of one that sees change as a hand up not a hand out. As a new generation of change agents, we have learned to evaluate the world around us from a unique and global perspective.

The importance of technology becomes more relevant everyday. The importance of social networking has showed us all that words and emotions can be carried across all borders and seas in an instant. To tweet or not to tweet, that is the new question. Currently, Iranians, Egyptians, Libyans, and many other African and Middle Eastern nations fight for their freedom by creating awareness around the world. In turn, we will respond by not only supporting the cause of freedom throughout the world, but also by creating freedom and equality at home.

I know firsthand what some of these communities are fighting for. I would like to remind you that today I stand proud to say I have come from across the world, from Tehran, Iran, and can share this moment with you all. I feel fortunate to say that against all odds I survived a journey that did not have a promised ending.

Today, each of us will step off this stage a Wheelock graduate. In this moment I can't help but hear the little boy who survived the Iran-Iraq war, lost friends to the harsh rules of poverty, watched his mother,my mother, get called many degrading names for being an American on Iranian soil. I can't help but hear that little boy's mother, who fought the Iranian Basij and police for torturing and wrongly accusing and incarcerating her son. I can't help but hear that little boy that looked up to his mother, the true definition of a strong woman, in a male-dominant country. And I can't help but hear that little boy who had to drop out of eighth grade with no hope of ever going back to school.

That boy in me still questions if this moment is real, and what may be next. I have met some very inspirational, risk taking, selfless, and loving individuals along the way, who never stopped caring, never stopped fighting, and never stopped believing in me. It is my hope that the little boys and girls in all of us inspire us to have a heart to feel and an ear to hear the calls of children and families around the world for change, for change, for change.

So, let's use this opportunity and education to kick down doors to injustices around the world, and let's start at home. As we sit next to each other today, let's soak in the joy of these moments and use our oneness as strength for the journeys ahead. Thank you all for your passion and hope that you represent through your hard work. Again, congratulations to everyone. Peace and Love.

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Commencement Speaker former President of Ireland Mary Robinson's Remarks

I was about to say good morning, but it's just a little after that. But it's been wonderful so far, and I've been very much honored to be invited to be the Commencement speaker for this year at Wheelock and to be honored together with two such wonderful and very dedicated honoree graduates that you just heard about, and also to be honored with you, the class of 2011.

Think what it does for me as an elder to be with the class of 2011. And I'm really feeling young and energized and in particular, very much in tune with what I've heard since I came here to Wheelock. Yesterday at breakfast and today, listening to both Brittany and Sobhan speaking about the experience of being a student here and in particular, that idea of international service learning.

I heard three of you yesterday talking about the experience of Northern Ireland, and we heard quite a bit more today. And as I listened and thought about this idea of service learning, it very much occurred to me that it's a deeply human rights idea because human rights isn't just about rights. It's also about duties and responsibilities, and that's in the universal declaration of human rights.

There are 30 articles in the universal declaration and the second‑last, article 29, talks about duties to the community.

It says quite simply, everyone has duties to the community without which you don't reach the free and full expression of your personality and I think that that's a very interesting way of putting it. Those of you that have been involved in working with others in service to the community, know how much you've been enriched by the experience, how much you have, in fact, got back, just by giving of yourself.

You've also somehow got back something very special inside you, a sense of being able to contribute to society, being able to support and help, and often learning, as we all do, from those that you work with.

I was very taken by the Commencement theme for this year: "Advocating on Behalf of Children, Inspiring a World of Good." And I thought I might connect that with a journey that I've been on and that has brought me to a slightly different place.

I've been involved with, as you heard from the more‑than‑kind tribute by your very distinguished president, Jackie Jenkins‑Scott, that I have been involved in human rights issues for most of my life and have the honor to serve in the United Nations as high commissioner for human rights.

After that I was involved with a small number of colleagues in an organization called Realizing Rights, in which we were focusing in particular on the economic and social rights. Of course, we place a lot of emphasis on no torture, rule of law, freedom of religion, freedom of expression. But we also wanted to champion rights to food and safe water and health and education, which in richer parts of the world sometimes get forgotten about. But if you're in a very poor place, they become incredibly important.

I sometimes ask a woman in a village, "What do human rights mean to you?" And interestingly, she doesn't say to me, "What are human rights?"

She takes the question, and she says, "It means freedom from violence and access to water." And many of you will know when you've worked in poor countries, that women can spend a great deal of time going to get clean, safe water and sometimes get attacked, raped, violated on the way, and spend a great deal of their lives just performing that and providing for food security.

So as I worked with my colleagues in a number of African countries over the last eight years, we were hearing a new message, an urgent one, that the poor livelihoods of people in rural and urban situations was being undermined by dramatic weather shocks, weather changes. And I even pressed them a little bit about this because I come from the west of Ireland. My parents were both doctors, and so my father used to go out into the farming community to visit sick patients, and it was my experience that farmers pretty well always complain about the weather. It's part of farming life to complain about the weather.

So I would press some of these people, like my friend Constance, who described that there are no longer any seasons. When she was growing up, they had food in her village. They were relatively poor, but they had a good village life, and now that has changed. What they have is flooding and then maybe eight months of no rain at all, drought, and then flash flooding that just runs off bone‑hard ground.

The school has been destroyed, and it's a women's group that's trying to hold their rather shattered community together, and she's leading that. And she says, "No, this is outside our experience."

And everywhere I've gone, and even recently in North Korea, there are weather shocks there, and they are facing the possibility of famine. What I wanted to do this evening-this morning-afternoon-whatever it is-what I wanted to try to do was seek your help so that we can kind of work together in trying to change the conversation about climate change and to do it with the help of children, because many of you have been working and will continue to with children.

And I think we can change the approach from the rather argumentative-is climate change really happening? Is it? Rule, what's the science? To understanding the impacts on people.

In February, I was in Bangladesh. I was there as the guest of a very big organization called BRAC, and BRAC does incredible work on micro‑credit, on women's leadership and empowerment and on livelihoods. Not just in Bangladesh, but Afghanistan, Haiti, in many African countries. And I'm a great admirer of their work. And I was there to see the way in which they're trying to help in Bangladesh, huge millions of people to adapt to the effects that they already have dangerously bad weather conditions that are going to get worse.

I traveled by sea plane down to the bay of Bengal, and we flew quite low in a sea plane—I hadn't been in a sea plane before, and that was exciting. And as we flew low over field after field covered with brackish floodwater because of a cyclone, I was told this is a cyclone area that's going to be far more prone to cyclones, so we have to teach the farmers to adapt to mutant strains of rice and maze that can grow in brackish water. Instead of doing freshwater fishing, which they were doing, to adapt to the kind of fish and crabs that can survive in this brackish water. And the first place we came to was a school that BRAC opened there. Otherwise, these very poor children would have had no chance at school.

It was a lovely school with a wonderful spirit in it, and the children tended to be of different ages, and some of them older than they otherwise would have been because they hadn't had any schooling until BRAC opened the school. They were very self‑confident in a way and they did a play for us about the reality of what they have to live with. They did a play of what happens when you cut down trees. There was a tall boy—he must have been about nine—who stood like a tree, and the others came and whispered first, yes, they'll cut down the tree. They cut him down so he fell to the ground and the wind came, and the children did the wind blowing and howling. The water was knocked down and the water came and, you heard the swish of the water, and they had to take shelter. And somebody came and advised them you mustn't cut down trees. You must prepare well for cyclones, et cetera.

It really struck me listening to those children in the classroom that in every classroom in the world, children should be learning about climate and about climate change and about what to do and what is their responsibility.

In Bangladesh and in many parts of Africa, they have to learn to cope with worse poverty and worse shocks to the system and less food because it's harder to produce food. But what should children be doing in classrooms in this part of the world, and in Ireland, my country, and in Europe and Korea, and Japan? What should people be learning in school? At the very least, they should be learning the wisdom of the three Rs-reduce, reduce what you use, reuse what you use and consume, and recycle—reduce, reuse, recycle.

Children, as you know probably even better than I, learn very rapidly—in fact, many of them are already learning to think in terms of green and green economy and doing for nature and understanding, understanding almost instinctively, that we have to change in order to save and preserve our world, that we have to hand a world to our children and they to their children and their grandchildren. So this is a dimension of what we call climate justice that I've established, a new foundation to promote.

Climate justice links human rights and development to achieve a more human‑centered approach. It safeguards the rights of the most vulnerable, and, of course, children are very, very vulnerable in situations of poverty and climate undermining that poverty.

And it also shares other burdens and benefits of climate change fairly and equitably. Climate justice amplifies the voices of those people who have been least responsible because they're not, in fact, generating greenhouse gas emission. They're not using carbon in the way that we are with our cars, with our buildings, with our central heating, with all the ways in which we absorb and use energy, often based on oil or coal.

And these costs are not only damaging to their infrastructure and their livelihoods and their lives. They also include the costs of having to limit growth and development if we use up the carbon budget of our world.

Let me refer to one report which highlighted just how extensive this human problem is, often not really the way we hear about climate change.

The global humanitarian forum's human impact report, called "anatomy of a silent crisis," was launched in May 2009, and it tried to estimate what are the negative impacts of climate change? How much is it affecting people?

And the result is quite striking. The report claims that about 300 million people are severely affected by climate change at a total economic cost of over $100 billion U.S. annually. More than 500 million people are living in extreme risk, and more than 20 million have already been displaced. And it points to the phenomenon which worries me a lot—maybe by 2050, when my grandchildren will be in their 40s, we could have 200 million climate‑displaced persons.

Certainly in that Bay of Bengal area where I was, they are saying if the cyclone pattern worsens and the water comes in, as they predict it will, at an even higher level, then about 20 million people will be moving from that area alone.

When we were in the big slum of the capital, they said to me, at least 100,000 people have already left that area and come to this slum in the city.

So climate change will raise temperatures. It will change rain patterns and the distribution of water. It will threaten biodiversity. It will raise the sea level, as I mentioned; increase flooding and storm surges; affect systems such as coral reefs and the melting of ice shelves that we've increasingly been hearing about.

And this morning, when I opened my "New York Times"-which was kindly provided for me by the hotel where we're staying here in Boston-and I was interested to see a serious reporting under the heading, "scientists' report stresses urgency of limiting greenhouse gas emissions," by the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences in this country. And that report, in essence, pointed out that the risks of doing business as usual are much greater and much more worrying than the risks of engaging in measured response efforts now. In other words, it's much better to respond now to the risk than to say, I don't really believe the risk is great enough.

But just after I read that report this morning, my heart kind of sank because I said, I know what's going to happen. It's so predictable what's going to happen. We're going to see the oil and coal lobbies write articles, sponsor research—I'm not saying that no—that you can't have some scholarship that is skeptical. But there is, also, a lot of scholarship that is promoted by lobbies to undermine science, and I would be very much inclined to believe a National Academy of Sciences and not the deniers.

But this is where we have a challenge that I believe we can work together on, and that is to bring out the stories of the impact of climate on those who are very vulnerable and who live already in extremely poor circumstances and many of you have known of this and have helped children and their families in those circumstances.

If we can get the stories out, that their situation is becoming worse, that they need support for adaptation, and that children all over the world in countries that are highly industrialized, that are consumer societies, need to learn new lessons.

I have a wonderful image of children at preschool starting life by having some understanding, having some sense of this reduce, reuse, recycle, educating their parents, educating their grandparents, beginning a whole process of changing the dynamics, and it gives me great hope, because I was rather concerned. As a grandparent, my husband, Nick and myself, have four grandchildren, two in Dublin of our daughter, and two in Barcelona of our older son, and we have a younger son, so aspiring six grandchildren, but my unmarried son doesn't like to hear that. He's not quite ready for that yet.

But I'm very conscious of having the same perspective now as those grandchildren and thinking of what their lives will be like, as I mentioned, when they're in their 40s in 2050. Some of you will have children in their 40s at that time, and you, yourselves, will be very much around, which I don't expect to be.

There's a very knowledgeable Dutch climate expert, and he wrote something that kind of chilled me a little bit, and I just want to read it. He said, "My grandchildren will likely experience the climate in the 2080s and 2090s. They will personally face the turmoil in the world when climate change gets out of control. I want to make my small contributions to save them and their generation from that." So that's the perspective of somebody who really understands and is regarded as a key expert on the science of climate change, and he is as concerned as I've begun to be about the future for his grandchildren.

So with the passion, with the kind of "get up and go" conviction that I've heard this morning, the innovative approaches that you clearly have benefited from here at Wheelock, I think you can go and change the conversation about climate change. Bring home that we need to have climate justice, that we need to wake up and say, "We have only one world. It is the world of our children. It's the world of the future. So let's make sure that we nourish it and pass it on in good standing to our children and our children's children." Thank you very much, and congratulations again.

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President Jackie Jenkins-Scott's Closing Remarks

At this time, I would like each graduate who has received a BS, BA, or BSW degree to move his or her tassel to the left side of your mortarboard. The turning of the tassel symbolizes the awarding of a Bachelor's Degree. Congratulations to each of you!

This has been a wonderful Commencement ceremony. The awarding of honorary degrees to these three exceptional individuals who are dedicated and passionate about our Wheelock College mission and values; the outstanding commencement address by President Mary Robinson and her beautiful message to you, our most remarkable class of 2011. The applause and cheers of your family, friends, and the Wheelock Community acknowledge how proud we all are of your accomplishments during your years at Wheelock. We extend to each of you our very best wishes as you commence into the next phase of your life journey.

At the beginning of this ceremony, I encouraged you to continue to advocate on behalf of children and by doing so inspire a world of good. In 1947, our Wheelock graduates gave tribute to Lucy Wheelock as it was the very first year that she did not address the graduating class. The students wrote this message in the 1947 yearbook: "On the special occasions when she spoke to us from the platform, her message was always timely and expedient. In simple words she brought to the perplexities of the present day the clear perspective of her long, full life. In days of depression and of war, her quiet wisdom helped us to see and understand. Her last message to a graduating class spoke of a task still to do, the task of remaking a war-torn world. This, she charged last year's seniors, was their challenge. It was for them to make their chosen profession the means of creating a cleaner and safer world, a world of greater promise than the world of today. She reminded them that the future depends upon the training of coming generations in the ideals of brotherhood and unity."

It's remarkable that Lucy Wheelock said these words 67 years ago! Her message is as relevant and important today as it was then. So to you, the Class of 2011, I repeat Lucy's charge: Create a cleaner and safer world, a world of greater promise as the world of today. It is our hope that you leave here with the confidence, courage, compassion, and passion to fulfill Lucy Wheelock's charge in your own 21st century way. It is what we expect of you and it should be no less than you expect of yourselves

On behalf of the entire Wheelock Community, once again I congratulate each of you, our graduates, your families, and friends. We will conclude this 2011 Commencement Ceremony with a benediction from Rabbi Ronne Freedman. Following the benediction, we will process to the Campus Center for a reception with family and friends. In celebration of this excellent Commencement ceremony, the Omega Brass Ensemble will play a medley of selections for our Recessional. Enjoy the rest of this beautiful spring day!

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