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Congratulations to the Class of 2009

Because I can't say it any better than David Skorton:

As you leave Cornell and move to the next stage, I urge you not to dwell too much on the uncertainties of your own future, but, instead, to realize that the world stands in desperate need of your skills and talents. You have graduated from one of the world's best research universities. You are smart, knowledgeable, creative. During your time on campus, you've impressed us with your intelligence and also with your energy, your sense of purpose, your commitment to service. The world needs what you have to offer now more than ever.

One of our graduating seniors in civil and environmental engineering, Zaheer Tajani, reminded me that there is an inscription on the Eddy Street gate that served as the original entrance to the campus. You've probably walked past it a thousand times on trips from campus to Collegetown. It reads:

So enter
that daily thou mayest become
more learned and thoughtful.

So depart
that daily thou mayest become
more useful to thy country and
to mankind.

I urge you to be creative and forceful in bringing your skills to bear on the problems we face, including the current economic dilemma, "to be more useful" to your country and to humankind. We need your creativity, your courage, your optimism, your clarity of purpose. We need you to volunteer in your communities, to serve on school boards, to participate in the political process. We need you to contribute to nonóprofit organizations. Most of all, we need you to put those hardówon skills and habits of mind to use not only in your professional lives, but in service to your community and to the world.

Your accomplishments to date have not been trivial, but you will go on to accomplish so much more.

Let's start by winning our first NCAA national championship in 31 years tomorrow.

Godspeed. And Let's Go Red!

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on May 24, 2009 (#)

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