It falls to me to bid the class of 2011 a final farewell on behalf of the Randolph faculty. We take pride in your many, many accomplishments, we share the joy mingled with sadness on this special day, and we look with you to the future with anticipation, eagerness, and possibility as you greet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
The world beyond us remains unsteady and unpredictable. We are reminded every day of powerful and destructive forces beyond our control. What is shallow and superficial can appear to overwhelm what is substantive and authentic. Too often we let what we cannot do interfere with what we can do.
But let us not forget that here at Randolph you have prevailed over the long haul, and you stand in testament to the core belief that education matters most in life and can never be taken away. Here you learned together in community with teachers and friends, coaches and advisers, and here, in sweet and sometimes scary solitude, you plumbed the interior depths of yourselves as young men and young women eager to explore the domains of an educated mind.
I urge you to remember that at our best we are life-long learners who humbly know that we are always under construction. Never assume that you are one of the learned who knows with confident grandiosity the answers to problems that have not yet emerged; instead gladly take on mantra of a metabolic learner who marvels at what is not known and seeks first and foremost to ask the right question.
Our most lofty hope for you in “the good long years” ahead is that you will choose to measure the quality of your life by the individual lives you have touched and made better. This is perhaps the ultimate choice in life, and it begins anew every day and in every encounter with our fellow man. While we cannot control what happens to us, it is for certain that we can control how we respond to others in a world of promise and a world of peril.
As you navigate the uncertain shoals of life, bring bravery, courage, compassion, humility, perseverance, and gratitude to the fore. May you remember the strength that you drew upon here in this special school, from your teachers, coaches, parents, and especially your classmates. May each of you know that you are a gift with an important contribution to make every day. Above all remember that the gift of life is an invitation, not a guarantee, and that you may do with this gift what you choose.
We wish you the very, very best in the months and years ahead, and hope you will come back to visit us and your kindergarten buddies many, many times as proud alumni of Randolph School.