Wescoe Commencement Address - October 2019

President Harring addresses the Muhlenberg graduates at the October 2019 Wescoe Commencement ceremony.

By: Kathleen Harring  Saturday, October 12, 2019 03:00 PM

Each of you recognized something that is at the core of the Muhlenberg experience—that learning does not stop.

Graduating students, families, friends, faculty and administrators, I am honored to welcome you to this commencement ceremony and to our beautiful campus.

Commencement is a time for celebration, a time to give thanks to those who provided support and guidance during your educational journey and a time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and to consider your goals for future learning.

When you made the decision to pursue your degree at Muhlenberg, you came here with a sense of purpose: To advance in your profession. To open pathways to a new career. To pursue knowledge in an area that has always fascinated you. To finish a degree program that life pulled you away from.

But each of you recognized something that is at the core of the Muhlenberg experience—that learning does not stop.

Muhlenberg is a liberal arts institution. And that philosophy plays out across all of our programs and for all of our students, from theatre and accounting, and from psychology to accelerated degree programs. Achieving your goals and earning your degree means that you have acquired the skills and knowledge associated with your program. But you have also gained the skills that come from a liberal arts experience: The ability to communicate clearly and effectively. A deeper understanding of teamwork and team dynamics. Leadership and a commitment to serve. The critical thinking and problem-solving skills that allow you to adapt and grow in new, and perhaps, unimagined ways.

This is the kind of learning that not only impacts our professional lives, but can influence and shape our personal lives as well. There is one other thing that the liberal arts prides itself on, one other thing that is central to Muhlenberg’s mission—and that is a desire for lifelong learning—but you already had that one.

The Greek philosopher Plutarch said “The mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled.” I hope that we have kindled your fire. Congratulations. We are very proud of your accomplishments and we wish you well in your journey as life-long learners.

And don’t forget that you are Muhlenberg, and Muhlenberg is you. We hope you will stay connected to your alma mater.