Would the members of the Class of 2008 please rise:
You came here for the most part four plus years ago in the midst of a presidential campaign and you leave, not surprisingly, in the midst of another presidential campaign. In your four years you have seen a lot of construction and been patient, sometimes, and enthusiastic, sometimes, as we opened in February of 2005, the new Athletic and Fitness Center, and in August of 2006, the Joe Rosenfield Center, and then in January of this year Phase II of the Noyce Science Center.
You hail from all over the world; two of you are from Greece, five of you are from India, one of you is from Serbia; many of you are from Los Angeles, and significantly one of you comes from one of the finest towns in America, Yellow Springs, Ohio. Five of you were born today and ironically May 19 and June 5 are the most common birth dates amongst you.
While here, you have had ups and some downs. We remember with love and sadness Paul Shuman Moore who we all searched for as you cared for each other and for Paul's family.
One hundred forty-seven of you graduate with honors in your major, 21% of you have at least two majors; 50 of you have completed a concentration, and 205 of you participated in an off-campus study program. More of you took a class with Emily Moore of Mathematics than any other faculty member. One hundred twenty-one of you participated in organized athletics where you won championships in Tennis, Swimming, Cross Country, Soccer, Basketball, Water Polo and perhaps Ultimate Frisbee (depending on what happens the week after next). 59% of you took advantage of our music programs by taking a course or private lessons or participating in a performance group including two of you who took advanced harp. Three of you who are African-American women, form the largest cohort known to us of students who have majored in Physics anywhere in the U.S. All of you taken together dropped or withdrew from 2,154 classes in your time here.
While you did all these very concrete things, you also grew and developed, made friends and lost friends, lost beloved family members, developed new passions, dreamed new dreams and discarded earlier dreams. We have benefited from your questions, your challenges, and some of your wild ideas.
As you leave, we ask you to remember this place, these times, this moment not as an artifact but as part of the foundation on which you stand and we hope it will enable you to rise to the challenges of a wonderful but struggling world, a world in which certainty exceeds wisdom, confusion exceeds insight, and inattention exceeds care and dedication.
Finally as you go out from this spectacular, if a bit rainy, day to a world of limitless horizons and wondrous possibilities, may God bless you and give you goodspeed.