James Glaser, Tufts University

Editors note: At a special ceremony for first-generation college graduates at Tufts University, James Glaser, dean of the school of arts and sciences, gave a commencement speech comprised entirely of questions. The slightly edited text of the speech is as follows:

What if I told you that because a university is a place of questions – and hopefully some answers – that I have decided to give my remarks to you entirely in the interrogative? Is this OK with you?

  1. Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
  2. What has happened in these four years? How much has changed?
  3. Did you experience great success? Did you experience failure, and if so, did you learn from it?
  4. Did it take perseverance, resilience, grit and a few all-nighters to get here?
  5. Did you become more civically involved? Were you able to connect what you learned outside the classroom with what you learned inside the classroom?
  6. Have you looked at any of the work you did the first year and said “Oh my God!”?
  7. Did we encourage you to question authority?
  8. Did you meet someone special? Would you believe that my 5’1″ sister met her 5’4″ husband in a short story class? Have you made lifelong friends?
  9. Through your years in college, have you become more independent and confident and wise? And have you come to appreciate your parents and families more?
  10. Do you have gratitude for some of the staff and faculty who have taught you and mentored you and guided you?
  11. Toward the future, will you keep in touch? Will you make a difference in whatever large or small way you are able?
  12. Ladies and gentlemen, will you please join me in congratulating our students upon their graduation?The Conversation

James Glaser, Professor, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, Tufts University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

In the midst of a world where so many are disengaged, cynical and apathetic, isn’t it time for some fresh air? Isn't it time to join together in building a refreshing, new community founded upon “real” relationships, “real” thought leadership, and “authentic” engagement? NO Clutter. NO Spam. NO NO Fees. NO Promotions. NO Kidding. SIMPLY Pure Engagement Unplugged. ☕️ CLICK TO GRAB YOUR SEAT IN OUR NEW ENGAGE CAFÉ ☕️

Previous articleWhy Your Credit Report Is So Important
Next article7 Reasons Why Your Leadership Style Is Causing Workplace Drama
THE CONVERSATION US launched as a pilot project in October 2014. It is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public. Our team of professional editors work with university and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public. We aim to help rebuild trust in journalism. All authors and editors sign up to our Editorial Charter. All contributors must abide by our Community Standards policy. We only allow authors to write on a subject on which they have proven expertise, which they must disclose alongside their article. Authors’ funding and potential conflicts of interest must also be disclosed. Failure to do so carries a risk of being banned from contributing to the site. The Conversation started in Melbourne Victoria and the innovative technology platform and development team is based in the university and research precinct of Carlton. Our newsroom is based in Boston but our team is part of a global newsroom able to share content across sites and around the world. The Conversation US is a non-profit educational entity.​
Notify of