Provost and Dean of Faculty
August 27, 2013
Good evening and welcome to this year’s opening convocation. I welcome the classes of 2017 warmly. You have just completed your formal orientation exercises, and are now transitioning into new lives as college students. Moments of transition are very important. They can be full of anxiety, but also of hope and expectation. Expectation of what lies ahead, of the first quiz, the first assignment, the first midterm exam and the first final exam. Expectation of what all this would mean in 2017, when you graduate.
It is a period of great hope. Whatever you do, make the most of every opportunity that comes your way, so you would have no regrets in future, for this time only comes but once.
I want to encourage you to develop the habit of being fully present in the moment. Enjoy it. Use it to lay a sound foundation for the future. If we do our job well and you play your part, you should be ready to embrace life with confidence by the time you graduate. You should leave with an education that provides you with the capacity to lead a fruitful life, with a fairly self-sufficient mind, and a capacity for reasonable happiness. You should not only have proved yourself to be intelligent, you should also have acquired the capacity for wisdom.
It was Confucius who said, “Those who are born wise are the highest type of people; those who become wise through learning come next; those who learn by overcoming dullness come after. Those who are dull but still won’t learn are the lowest type of people” (Analects). I ask you to determine in which category you fall. Hopefully, you do not belong in the last.