Commencement is the term I prefer for all the graduation ceremonies that are occurring this month and next. I say that because I believe it best describes the transition that occurs when a student graduates. Some may think of graduation as the end, the conclusion. But, I think it is always more of a beginning than an end. That is what commencement means…a beginning.
Think of it as the beginning of putting into use the skills and knowledge that are accrued during a course of studies. This is true whether the graduate is awarded a professional or terminal degree and begins to practice a profession, or if it is a transition to higher studies.
Commencement is a time of promise, a time of challenge and opportunity. For many it is also a time of trepidation that always accompanies leaving the familiar and comfortable behind and stepping into the unknown. Life should not be a plateau but a climb up a mountain, pausing only to rest briefly.
In a commencement speech, Adlai Stevenson told graduates “When you leave here, don’t forget why you came.” Graduates have reached a milestone, not the finish line. You have expended much time and energy to reach this level. Your parents have provided love and support to get you here, so begin to apply what you have acquired. You have acquired information, but it becomes knowledge only when it is applied.
Finally, remember that all knowledge is at its base, knowledge of God the source of all knowledge and wisdom. To separate knowledge from God is to betray both.
This post is also available in/Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish