President Chopp

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Remarks delivered by President Rebecca S. Chopp at Colgate’s 186th commencement, May 20, 2007

President ChoppLet us begin by expressing our gratitude to those who are gathered here this very special day and those who are at home waiting to hear about this day of joy and celebration. Every graduate who walks across this stage is supported by many here at Colgate and at home who have worked hard to afford and ensure opportunities for our students.

Join me in thanking parents, grandparents, and family members who have supported this education in so many ways.

Thanks, too, for friends gathered here and for alumni who reach out to support students and all graduates.

A special thanks to Colgate’s staff: They provide us with our daily subsistence, maintain our facilities, keep these grounds beautiful, and support our campus and our work.

And, of course, join me in thanking the faculty. Inside and outside the classroom, supporting and challenging, opening new worlds big and small, going with students all around the world.

When I ask seniors and alumni what they value most about Colgate, they usually tell me “the wonderful faculty.” Rightly said. Join me in thanking our faculty

And now a few very brief comments to the class and a charge to you as you graduate this day and become Colgate alumni!

Class of 2007 — known for your hard work, your curiosity, your fun, your intellect, and your passion. During the last four years, you achieved, you learned, you played, you formed great friendships, you grew into adulthood on this campus. You lived with passion.

From your first year, I and others on campus knew you would leave your mark on Colgate.

One symbol of how you have done this has been in recent months, you set a whole new record for the senior class gift. Eighty-eight percent of you have been, so far, able to participate in the senior class gift. A record 88 percent.

Your class gift co-chairs have done a wonderful job organizing you. Indeed, you are a class filled with organizational whiz-kids!

The Tollhouse pie-eating contest at the Colgate Inn that celebrated reaching 75 percent of your goal promises to be a new tradition at Colgate.

Your decision to use the money you raised to help fund the Global Leaders Lecture Series was a generous act of reinvesting in your community so that future generations of students can benefit from an international leader coming to campus.

As you leave this place — and live now as a Colgate alumnus in the world — I hope you remember to continue to live with your Colgate passion, with the passion you have lived with the last four years.

Pursue your profession or career with passion — with intelligence, fun, hard work, spirit, passion.

Engage in your community and build it, passionately.

Continue to find your own passions in life, make sure you live an interesting life marked by curiosity, engagement. Make a difference in the world. Drink deeply of the wells of human experience in the arts, in athletics, in culture, in education.

Congratulations to each of you — best wishes to all.

Live forever with your Colgate passion — and stay engaged with Colgate!

Congratulations to the graduates!

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