May 17, 2014


Ronald A. CrutcherServing as the president of this institution has, indeed, been a labor of love and the highlight of my professional career. Ten years ago I sat out in the audience as a guest of Then-President Dale Rogers Marshall, still getting used to the idea that I would be joining this community and trying to imagine what that would be like. Today I find it hard to recall the years before I became a member of the Wheaton Community and I suspect that you, the members of the Class of 2014, feel the same way.

It is one of the tropes of commencement speakers to point out that the name of this ceremony means “a beginning,” from the French word commencer. And indeed, this does signal the beginning of a new phase of your life and of mine as well. We are about to begin a new relationship to this college and this community, which has come to mean so much to each of us.

Ronald A. CrutcherWe are fortunate to have many good role models with us here today; the alumnae/alumni and friends of Wheaton who have done, and continue to do, so much to support, strengthen and enliven this community through their engagement and their generosity of spirit. Let each of us make the same commitment to remain an active and engaged member of this community.

You have great talent and potential, Class of 2014.  With your Wheaton liberal arts education you have learned to listen closely, think carefully and act purposefully.  Our vision for Wheaton is to graduate students who are global citizens prepared to lead in a complex society. This means that you are empowered and impassioned about promoting change locally and globally, no matter what you end up doing or wherever you end up living. Stay true to your values and your passion and you cannot fail.

May each of you find good fortune and interesting challenges on your path. Until we gather here to celebrate again, Godspeed.

Read the honorary degree citation

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