About the Speaker:
Catawba College President
Members of the class of 2013, our newest alumni: We are honored by you, and honored to celebrate your achievements with you. In a few moments you will embark upon new adventures, new callings. You may imagine what awaits you but you never really know. After all, as my favorite philosopher, Jedi Master Yoda, said, "Always in motion is the future."
Judging by your activities and accomplishments of your years at Catawba, you are indeed a generation in motion, a generation who will shape the future. You will not be shaped by it. And yet I am supposed to "charge" you – to send you forth with a command of what you should do.
William Butler Yeats wrote that, "Education is not the filling of a pail. It is the lighting of a fire." I believe and I trust that your experience at Catawba has kindled more than one flame that you will carry with you – and that you will pass that fire on to others throughout your life.
So, should I charge you to go forth, to pursue a life of purpose and of service? Of course – and you should.
Should I charge you to go forth, to approach every opportunity and every challenge with enthusiasm, persistence, and good will? Of course – and you should.
Should I charge you to go forth, to pursue excellence and to make your alma mater proud? Of course – and you should.
But perhaps Steve Jobs said it best in his magnificent commencement address some years ago: "[H]ave the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
Catawba will watch and support you as you follow your hearts and your intuition – and we will celebrate proudly with you as you reach your highest potential.