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The ovation for Sam Solovey was warm and enthusiastic
With no pomp and only modest circumstance -- huge striped tent, chicken and salads -- the senior class luncheon has become a commencement weekend tradition noted for jovial warmth and darn good speeches.

This year senior orator Sam Solovey wowed the crowd with a performance piece complete with impressions, nostalgia and the far reaching nature of the past four years, while Nixon biographer and news commentator Monica Crowley '90 offered sage advice and presidential ancedotes. Excerpts:

Sam Solovey
What is Colgate? What is Colgate? East and West Hall are Colgate. The Coop. The number 13. A sweater from J. Crew is Colgate. Hamilton, New York is Colgate. But even more importantly, you're Colgate, and you're Colgate, and you, and you, and she, and he and I. We're all Colgate. The past four years have been an amazing ride, making me realize that this institution is a permanent part of you and me. Sitting by a lake someday with your children and seeing two swans swim by -- that's Colgate. Digging your car out of the snow in mid-March -- that's Colgate. Using restrooms with movement-sensored lights -- that will always be Colgate.

Here we are again under the same tent we occupied on one of those first days in August of 1994. We ate a semiformal dinner, followed the torches and bagpipes up the hill, circled the quad, and then the 800-plus of us entered the Chapel for Convocation. But even more important than these memorable events, are the individuals who Colgate brought into our lives.

Since I have taken us back to day one, allow me to end where most of us made our initial Colgate connection. Remember your visit to campus. Your info session and tour. It was and still is Mrs. V. [Cookie Vanderneut] who sits behind the front desk in admissions -- who illuminates the lobby, and influenced your first impressions of Colgate. She said to me last week, "You've truly just arrived and now it's time to go." Fortunately, we have the rest of our lives to arrive again and again and again. But between those arrivals, embrace those who have touched your life and cherish those lives that you have touched, and remember that you're Colgate, and you're Colgate, and you, and you, and she, and he, and you, and you and I. We're all Colgate.

Monica Crowley had Nixon stories and advice for the seniors
Monica Crowley
There is no doubt that Colgate has prepared you well academically for life in the real world. But, whether you realize it or not, Colgate has also given you some important gifts that you must take with you when you leave campus next week.

Take the spirit of accomplishment you feel now as you prepare to graduate and use it to tell yourselves that you must always try, question, experiment and challenge. Be proud of yourselves. Not just on days like today and graduation day, but every day.

Take the intellectual curiosity that drove you when you lit your first Bunsen burner or heard a lecture that made you forget about the passage of time, and use it to invest in the one thing no one can take away from you: what you know.

Take the sense of humor you showed when it snowed on Spring Party Weekend or when you saw that the only section available for the class you absolutely had to take met at 8:30 a.m., and draw on it when life gets a bit too serious and a bit too stressful.

Take the survival techniques you honed here when living two, three, or five to a room, or when you had to get to class -- or to a party -- through numerous feet of snow, and use them as you navigate your way through life's inevitable unpleasant situations.

Take the sense of community you enjoyed here -- in the dorms, in the fraternities and sororities, at the hockey games, at the late night study sessions and yes, even in the dining hall -- and use it to build communities wherever you go.

Take the sense of patience you learned here while waiting for your number in the dreaded housing lottery, or even as you waited four years for this weekend to come, and rely on it when you don't get that job or promotion right away.

Take the courage you showed when you first set foot on this campus -- knowing not another soul, relying only on yourself -- and use it to tackle whatever life throws at you. Be fearless.

Take the sense of wonder you felt when you first saw the beauty of this campus, and look at every new place with it.

Take all of these things as gifts Colgate has given you and use them. This is the best way to make your education a truly living thing.

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Impressions of Graduation 1998