President Gearan, Members of the Board of Trustees, our new provost, Dr. Teresa Amott; our two President’s Medal recipients, faculty, staff, students, alumni and alumnae friends and families:
Convocation marks the beginning of another academic year. Today, we celebrate the achievements of Dr. [GeorgeN.] Abraham and Rosie Mauk, two people that have done the best they can do to make their communities the best they can be.
They have strived hard to ensure that wherever they go, they improved their communities. So my challenge is to us today: “Would it be said of you and me -- when this academic year ends -- that we have done the BEST we can do to make HWS the best it can be?”
We recognize that student trustees, student government leaders, members of Hai Timiai, Druids, Orange Key, Chimera, Laurels and club leaders help to improve this community, but they are not the only ones; we all have the duty to strengthen our community.
As we begin this academic year, I want us to keep in mind an African proverb which says “it takes a village to raise a child.” This is similar to a statement made by our new provost and I quote “it takes a community to raise a graduate,” but we should remember it takes all of us to take care of that same community.
I would like to extend a special welcome to the Classes of 2009. You are embarking on a journey in this community. A journey which includes numerous hours spent in classrooms, deadlines on papers, lifetime friendships or relationships, and the cold winter of Geneva.
I am beginning the fourth year of my journey. I can only encourage you to enjoy and make use of all the opportunities HWS has to offer. Go abroad, apply for an internship, volunteer for community service.
In closing, whatever our journeys may bring, we should do the best we can to improve our communities as we go.
Once again, I congratulate the President’s Medal recipients. I would also like to say thank you to everyone who made Orientation successful as well as each and everyone of you who graced this occasion with your presence.
Thank you and have a wonderful academic year.
Student Address, Oluwayemisi O. Abogan â06, William Smith student trustee
August 31, 2005