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A Commencement for the Ages

The Class of 2020 might not have a traditional SNC Commencement, but they’ll surely have a memorable one. The class’ Commencement is now scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 29. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate on Sunday, May 17 – the original date. In fact, that’s highly encouraged!

By now, your senior should have received a FedEx box from St. Norbert filled with graduation goodies, including a cap, gown and ceremony regalia. So it’s time to have some fun! Have your grad try on everything, then take lots of photos. Traditional shots are great, but include some creative ones, too.

Next, shoot a video of your grad in full ceremonial attire. We’ll share the videos via social media on May 17, and you can share the photos whenever you’d like. Make sure to tag the college, using @stnorbert (on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and the hashtag #SNCgrad. And loop in our SNC alums, too – it’s a party, after all! Use @SNCalumni for Facebook and Twitter and @snc_alumni for Instagram.

If you want to give your student a shout-out in your community, order a personalized yard sign. And if you’d like to hold your own mini ceremony, don’t fret over a Commencement address. We’ve gathered snippets from several that are considered among the best ever. Read one or more, or play one of the full videos for all of the celebrants. Congratulations!

John F. Kennedy, President of the United States, at American University (1963)
“Our problems are manmade – therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable – and we believe they can do it again.”

Bono, U2 Lead Vocalist, at University of Pennsylvania (2004)
“What’s the big idea? What’s your big idea? What are you willing to spend your moral capital, your intellectual capital, your cash, your sweat equity in pursuing outside of the walls of the University of Pennsylvania? The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.”

Steve Jobs, Co-founder and CEO of Apple, at Stanford University (2005)
“I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul, at Stanford University (2008)
“If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. That’s the lesson. And that lesson alone will save you, my friends, a lot of grief. Even doubt means don’t. This is what I’ve learned. There are many times when you don’t know what to do. When you don’t know what to do, get still, get very still, until you do know what to do.”

Ellen DeGeneres, Comedian, at Tulane University (2009)
“It was so important for me to lose everything, because I found out what the most important thing is, is to be true to yourself. Ultimately, that’s what’s gotten me to this place. I don’t live in fear, I’m free. I have no secrets and I know I’ll always be OK, because no matter what, I know who I am.”

George Saunders, Syracuse University English Professor, at Syracuse University (2013)
“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded … sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly … Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.”

May 14, 2020