graduation speech

MHS Graduation 6-8-1988Minnetonka Senior High School Commencement
Northrup Auditorium – University of Minnesota
June 8, 1988


Make yourselves comfortable; I’m about to give a forty-five minute lecture on the history of commencement exercises… No, actually I’ve promised to keep this speech mercifully short.

When I began writing this, I tried to think of the things that I admired most about the class of 1988. One idea in particular kept popping into my head: Many people in this class seem to know exactly what they want and they reach out to accomplish their goals, whether it be involvement in school activities, travel abroad, summer college courses, volunteer work, jobs, vocational training, or any other activity. This is a group of really focused and devoted people, and I think that’s great. I’m always amazed at the amount of talent and potential I see in this class.

Many of us will be going to college this fall; others will start working, traveling, or pursuing any number of other opportunities. My hope is that as we do this, each one of us will continue to reach for the things that interest us the most, the things that will give us the most satisfaction. There’s certainly a few of us that are unsure of what we’d like to do in the future, but I think we all have at least an inkling of what makes us happy and I think we should pay attention to these intuitions. They’re valuable and should be given serious consideration as we choose our careers and lifestyles because society isn’t always going to send us in the directions that are right for us. The world will always tell us that money and worldly success are the keys to happiness, but I think we can only be truly happy when we’re doing what we find valuable. I’m sure some of us will be contented in the careers that society glorifies, but I think other people will be equally satisfied in other vocations.

I stand here tonight looking at 630 different and very special dreams. It’s a great honor, and I’m very proud to be a part of this graduating class. There’s only one thing I want to say to you: always pursue the things that fulfill you personally, and don’t ever give them up in order to follow someone else’s dream.

In conclusion, I want to thank the faculty and our parents for their patient support and for their help in preparing us for our futures.

Congratulations and all the best to the class of 1988!

Thank you.

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