A Great Day To Be A Lion!
Inside the Bollman Center, 352 traditional graduates, 77 post-traditional graduates and eight master’s degree graduates celebrated the culmination of years of hard work, dedication and amazing, boundary-crossing experiences during Albright’s 159th commencement ceremony on May 19.
In her farewell to the class, President Fetrow said: “Albright Class of 2018, I have enjoyed getting to know so many of you. You will always be a special class to me—not just because you were the first class to graduate during my term as president, but because you have brought something special to Albright… Your engagement, your willingness to be leaders and to take responsibility will serve you well as you move to the next stage of your life journey. I’m excited and enthused to watch your progress. You are poised to make a difference in our communities and in our world, and I cannot wait to see what you do. Know that this president will be applauding each of you from the sidelines. You are indeed an amazing class!”
The Acquisition of Wisdom
An excerpt from Joanna McClintock’s address to honor society students in the School of Professional Studies.
My favorite graduation speaker was Mr. Rogers. I was in the stadium at Boston University in 1990—28 years ago—when he led thousands of students and guests in a rousing chorus of “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” It occurred to me as I thought of Mr. Rogers, graduations of family and friends, my own Albright graduation, that Blue Bell student and all our students, that I’ve lived…a lot.
In that time, I have gathered a good deal of knowledge and some wisdom. Wisdom is defined as the ability to know or judge what is true and right and lasting. One can acquire knowledge without wisdom, but not the other way around.
So, here are some things that I know to be true. Let’s start with the W in Wisdom:
Worry. A little goes a long way. I come from a long line of worriers, but here is what I know to be true: You can live the life of a worrier or you can figure out a way to live easier. Don’t underestimate simple things like remembering to breathe deeply; soaking in a warm tub; taking a walk; listening to music and singing out loud. It works.
Intellect. Be a life-long learner. Figure out what you want to do next, and do it! Learn how to paint. Tackle a new language. Visit a new place. Try a new recipe. Experiment with new technology. Consider grad school, a new job, or an entirely new profession. You did this; earned your degree while juggling multiple other responsibilities. You can do anything! Set your goals, use the knowledge and good habits you’ve acquired at Albright, and mix what you’ve learned with another area of expertise to come up with something wonderful—maybe you’ll be a bee keeper.
Savor. Celebrate as you go. Celebrate often. Be in the moment. Stay there. If your mind drifts to what is going on at home, or a pressing problem, or tomorrow’s schedule, make a deal with yourself to chase those thoughts out and remain in the present.
Don’t assume: Don’t assume you know what someone values or wants. Ask them, and really listen. Give people enough time to reveal themselves. You will learn so much that way.
Own it. Own up to your mistakes and take responsibility. I have seen people turn themselves inside out rather than admit to a mistake. Mistakes are meant to be made to help us learn and grow. Stop placing blame when things don’t go the way you’d imagined. You’ll gain the respect of others, as well as respect for yourself. Powerful stuff.
March to the beat of your own drum. Decide who you are and be that person. And drum like there’s no tomorrow.
In the wise words of Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish poet, cleric and author of Gulliver’s Travels: “May you live everyday of your life.” That’s my plan. I hope it is yours, too.
-Joanna McClintock is a 2003 Albright graduate and a former
enrollment advisor in the School of Professional Studies.