Good evening.

Bishop Harris, your humility, dedication and perseverance in the face of adversity burn bright for many women, who like me, aspire to accomplish great goals in our lives. It is with great honor that I present you with a gift from William Smith College congratulating you on all of your accomplishments thus far. As you will find, it is a pine tree, a symbol very dear to the women of William Smith. Here at the colleges, we women are given the foundation, roots if you will, to dig deep into our selves and realize our potential. We are then encouraged to stand tall, mindful of our convictions and presence in this world. And at long last, we graduate. Having grown tall, we extend ourselves to help others as well as work toward building a better future for the women to follow.

Please accept our token of appreciation in knowing that the women of William Smith are greatly appreciative of the doors you’ve opened, knocked down and created on our behalf. Like you, Bishop Harris, the pine tree is firmly planted; yet enduring and generous to those who are in need. We wish you the best in your future endeavors and hope to have your in our company again, very soon.

And in the words of my great-grandmother: “You’ve done real good, child. You’ve done real good.” Thank you.



Monique Peeler '05

Convocation, September 7, 2004