Thank you, Headmaster Hill. Welcome parents, faculty, staff, and guests. Thank you for inviting me. It is an honor to be here.
You worked hard to get here. You worked hard for brilliant and kind teachers who demanded it of you. You spent freezing, dark Tuesday nights in December, going from sports practice to play rehearsal, staying up until 2 am studying for your Spanish test the next day, only to wake up at 6:00 to do you calculus homework.
Maybe after that Spanish test you scrawled notes on Emily Dickinson’s poems for your AP English class before racing across the quad to the Schoolhouse. If you were lucky, you were just fast enough to avoid the unit.
Or maybe your homework is always done early. Maybe you would never be caught dashing something off at the last minute—I don’t know your life. Just mine. But what I do know is that by achieving Cum Laude, you have achieved academic excellence.
Congratulations again. This is a big achievement, and you’ve worked hard for it, every day, in big ways and small. I may not know you personally, but I’m lucky enough to know the people who sat in those front rows in the class of 2003 (10 years ago!) and if you’re anything like them, you haven’t just excelled academically; you’ve excelled in sports, music, theater, the arts, and leadership. I admire you. And I know too that there is brilliance all around this Williston community gathered here today.
I wanted to make this speech special for you all, to mark this lofty achievement. It will, if all works out, include: neuroscience, marriage equality, the end of modern day slavery, … and bears. Grizzly bears, to be specific.