This is what I said last night at the Convocation:
We are so proud to celebrate the great work of our students. We are so proud of the learning, and making, and thinking, that is happening in our classrooms, studios, stages, and concert halls. We are so proud of you, the next generation of artists, scholars, teachers, doers, makers—Generation Renaissance—who will have careers in the world and a life in the arts. Who will do well, who will do good, who will do better.
We convene tonight to celebrate –our work and each other. We come together as a community, recognizing that art, artists, scholars, teachers, audiences do well, do good, do better in communion with one another. Although we may work alone in a studio or practice room or study carrel, or in small groups in the rehearsal hall, or even within our Schools, when we are exposed to other forms, other minds, other art, we are invigorated, our imaginations and the possibilities of our work expand. Together, our work makes us stronger, smarter, more engaged in the world. We, whose disposition is to see an object, but imagine a work of visual art, who hear a sound, but imagine music, who witness behavior, but imagine theatre, who perceive motion, but imagine a dance. Together, we change the world—every day, in class, in research, in the studio, concert hall or theater. So, tonight, we convene, we celebrate, and remind ourselves that what we do matters crucially—of course to each other, naturally for our schools, certainly for this College, indeed for the university, clearly for the region, the nation and the world.