Commencement ~ Class of 2015

May 16, 2015

Father Dennis, thank you for your wonderful address and for being such an outstanding role model for our graduates. At DePaul, the largest Catholic University in the nation, the Vincentian spirit of excellence, inclusiveness, and service is a living legacy that impacts the world through students and alumni determined to make a difference. Thank you for demonstrating through your excellent leadership that enduring ideals can indeed transform lives—one’s own live, as well as the lives of others. We at Marywood trace our own founding values and principles back through many generations of education and service. Thank you for being here with us today, and for being a servant-leader in the truest sense of the term. We’d like to show our appreciation for your inspiring words with another round of applause.

And now, I would like to address a few thoughts directly to our graduates.

Dear graduates, at Marywood University, we have endeavored to educate, inspire, and challenge you, so that the reality of who you’ve become is built on the three pillars of our motto—Sanctitas, Scientia, Sanitas—Holiness, Knowledge, and Health. Your experiences have been transformed by the knowledge you have pursued and gained; by the people you have met—many of whom, I am certain, are now your lifelong friends; by the goals you have set and achieved; by the encouragement of family, friends, and faculty; and by other life events and decisions that have somehow influenced, inspired, and guided you to this day.

As you commemorate this important occasion, reflect on those who have supported you, loved you, and generously built you up throughout your years of study. Some of them are here with you. Some of them are only here in spirit. Let us take a moment to give thanks for all the family members, faculty, staff, friends and classmates who have been part of your journey to this significant moment of endings and beginnings.

As you know, we are in the midst of celebrating a special, milestone year. One hundred years of spirited leadership and bold vision have set the course for Marywood’s second century of education and service. The Class of 2015 has built on that legacy of progress with its many significant accomplishments.

I want to encourage you to always nurture your love of learning, but, most especially, your creative spirit. You don’t have to be an artist or musician to be creative. Any person educated in the liberal arts tradition can and should draw from the well of imagination inherent within. Every profession needs creative, vibrant people who can see past problems to imagine solution-oriented possibilities.

From the scientist to the social worker, this world needs professionals with intellects fired by imagination, theories informed by research, and practitioners guided by compassionate hearts. All of you here are remarkably gifted. You have enjoyed success in completing your studies, and I am certain that your future goals raise the bar of excellence even higher.

You leave here today, not just with a diploma, but with a true education that will serve you well throughout life. You have learned to think, act, serve, and lead beyond yourself. Your Marywood education has given you that vital framework to experience and demonstrate the kind of head and heart leadership that this world needs so deeply.

One of the greatest minds of the 20th century—and, arguably, of all time—understood this crucial mind/heart connection. Albert Einstein, the genius of physics, was also Albert Einstein, the genius of imagination. I have long admired Einstein for his simple, seamless way of demonstrating the essential connection of the keen mind, the imaginative spirit, and the compassionate heart.

So, as we celebrate this momentous day and look ahead to an exciting future, I offer you a Top Ten List of advice on living and learning, straight from the wisdom and words of Albert Einstein:

10. We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.

9. Information is not knowledge.

8. Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

7. The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.

6. Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.

5. Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. 

4. The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule.

3. There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.

2. Never lose a holy curiosity.

1. Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

Congratulations, and may God bless all of you abundantly—keep that “holy curiosity” alive in all of your present and future endeavors!