Editor’s Note: The following Baccalaureate remarks were presented by Head of School Robert W. Hill III on May 25, 2013 in Stephens Chapel.
Good evening seniors, parents, colleagues and welcome to our Baccalaureate Ceremony for the Class of 2013. I wanted to share a few remarks before we begin this traditional ceremony which dates from Medieval times signifying the attainment of learning and knowledge.
Preparing for this weekend, I face an annual recognition which all speakers at this time of year realize—if they are honest. It’s a dilemma which comes from trying to think of something interesting or, even harder, something memorable to say to seniors who are about to graduate and who have had their fill of advice, nostalgia, and predictions. It’s times like this that I wish I could go to Mrs. Sawyer’s writing center, or better yet, just ask her to come redeliver the message to you guys from a couple of weeks ago: Remember that lesson? “Be kinder than necessary and work with love.”
Thank you Bob, Board of Trustees, faculty and staff for the invitation to take part in today’s celebration. I am deeply honored and thrilled for the opportunity to address the Class of 2012, accompanied by family and friends.
When I received the invitation from the Head of School Bob Hill. I said “yes” without hesitation. I have deep respect for this institution, not to mention my daughter is now a senior here. Like most parents, I have visited the Williston community many times, observed student-teacher interaction in class, attended competitive sporting events and been mesmerized by many thespian productions. Cafeteria food also brought back memories.
There is no better way to describe Williston than the way Steve Porter, Class of ’97, did. His production “Williston Is,” featuring the Willistonians, describes the spirit, diversity, characters and values of Williston. Friends and family, if you haven’t seen the video, do check it out on YouTube or the Williston website. It will make you proud, it will assure you that our future is in good hands.
Delivered at The Williston Northampton School’s 170th Commencement on June 4, 2011
When I see my granddaughter Emilia graduating today, I guess, like all the parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins who are here, I’m brimming with love.
You can’t know how much we love you kids. You make us wonderfully happy just by being who you are. You’re the buds of spring. You’re still tasting parts of the world for the first time. You remind us of the days in our own lives when the world was a squishy grape we were biting into for the first time, and we were the first ones ever to feel such an amazing sensation. We know that you have ahead of you a universe of amazing experiences – and the most amazing of them, some day, may be looking into the eyes of your own young people who will choke you up with the beauty of their pure hearts. And knowing that gives us pleasure, too.
This is a big moment for all of us today. In a few minutes, we’ll go through a ritual that signals your moving on to greater maturity. And the strange thing at a time like this, is how much people our age want to give people your age advice. I don’t know why we do that. You don’t do it.