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More Commencement Speeches

Hats off to Professor Joan Edwards (College Marshal) and Margaret Weyers (Assistant to the College Marshal) for putting together an outstanding page of information about Commencement. Not only is David Halberstam’s speech on “Life After INSERT COLLEGE NAME HERE” available, but so are speeches by the three student speakers.

They are all worth a read. Indeed, “Leaving the Lesson Factory” by Jonathan Lovett and “An Itinerant Dictionary” by Sam Irons are jaw-droppingly good. Of course, a big part of commencement speaking is, you know, the speaking part. But these speeches are so marvelous in style and substance that it is hard to believe that they weren’t big crowd pleasers, regardless of skill (or lack there of) in delivery.

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#1 Comment By Eric Smith ’99 On June 11, 2004 @ 8:36 am

Was there an unspoken agreement that all of the student speeches this year would use the word “hobo” in them?

#2 Comment By (d)avid On June 11, 2004 @ 9:10 am

I’m not sure that “jaw-droppingly good” is how I would describe “The Lesson Factory.” Creating and relating a writer’s block story is as old as the hills. My guess is that thousands of graduations featured such speeches this year.

The dictionary speech — now that is an address. Who would admit to being a fetishist in front of their graduation class? Self-deprecating humor is always a good move.

#3 Comment By Eric Smith ’99 On June 11, 2004 @ 10:42 am

I believe it was ’98 in which Mitch Stripling (sp?) graduated and in his speech, he gave a Stone Hill account that was incredibly alike to the “Lesson Factory” one.

I am beginning to wonder if at least one of the student speakers is given a MadLibs sheet that has the Stone Hill text in it and they are allowed to swap out certain parts, but are required to leave others.