Mary L. Schapiro, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
President Helm, faculty and administration, students and parents, family and friends – it is a pleasure and an honor to address the Muhlenberg College graduating class of 2012 on this beautiful spring morning.
You have to love a day like this. The air of optimism and opportunity, the sense of satisfaction that comes from hard-earned success, the joy radiating from proud parents and good friends – commencements are exhilarating celebrations of potential fulfilled, and I’m delighted to be a part of this one.
This commencement is particularly special to me – almost a homecoming. I am fortunate to be here with my good friends of many years, Chairman Richard Brueckner. Thank you, Rich, for that wonderful introduction. It is so heartening to look out over today’s graduates and see the phenomenal results of your boundless commitment to the excellence of this college, the skills of its staff and the growth of its students. Today, you deserve congratulations for a job well done, too. Read more.
President Peyton R. Helm
Good evening 2012 – and welcome to your proud parents, beaming grandparents, and any siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, or other members of your entourage who have joined us here tonight.
I hope you remember your visit to campus, almost four years ago, for June advising. That day you heard me give a speech about taking the college plunge, you signed the Hogwarts Book, and you officially became Muhlenberg students. Within twenty-four hours, you will be Muhlenberg alumni. Gosh that went quickly!
There is, to use William Blake’s phrase, a “fearful symmetry” to your arrival and departure from this campus. Your freshman orientation was a turbo-charged information-infused firehose-down-the-throat experience. This week, beginning with the last lecture, continuing tonight, and culminating tomorrow morning, anybody who can get next to a microphone will try to cram you full of last-minute advice – as if you’d learned everything in the last four years except for the most important wisdom which we saved for the last minute. I will be part of this distinguished, perhaps tedious, string of counselors. Of course my words will be the most valuable you will hear during the entire weekend. Read More.
Bittersweet. The only word that I can honestly say that best describes the past nine months. Whether sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture, walking across campus on a beautiful 70 degree day, or stressing out over who to “befriend” next on LinkedIn. It was the word that kept popping back into my head. Time and time again. The worst was when a family member or friend asked me “Any plans for next year?” Bittersweet. Read More.
When I was growing up, my family used to sit around the table and do jigsaw puzzles. Each one came in a box labeled with the number of pieces enclosed - 1,000 pieces, 2,500 pieces, 5,000 pieces. It was great fun assembling all the pieces and, eventually, pronouncing it completed. Our time at Muhlenberg and indeed our lives are a bit like that puzzle. However, we don't know how many pieces there are and we can never declare it complete. Read More.