Good evening, and welcome to Ocean City High School’s Graduation ceremony for the Class of 2014. I’d like to start by thanking our parents, friends, teachers, and administrators. Without each of your efforts, we may not have made it to this very point in our lives. Graduation is a testimony to the tenacity and determination of the individuals who sit behind me today as well as those who have helped us along the way.
The Class of 2014 is now awaiting their diplomas, their moment. While graduation is typically viewed as a conclusion, as the end to an era, this is only the beginning of the many moments yet to come. Education is a journey, not a destination. The moments to come will remind us of this anthem. To become educated members of society, we must continually strive to learn and to thereby better ourselves. To think of graduation as a conclusion, as the end of something, is to think of education as merely a destination, one that is reached after high school, college, or graduate school. This is not so. Education never ends. Wherever the Class of 2014 ends up next year, we will be learning about the world in which we live. Those of us headed to the workforce will learn a trade, will learn about the importance of a good work ethic, will learn about the world. Those of us going on to higher education will learn about sustainable agriculture, differential equations, and the work of Faulkner. Thus, our education will never cease. After today, we will learn outside the classroom, outside the walls of Ocean City High School, what it means to be a citizen of the world and how to contribute our talents and our gifts to society.
This learning will be based on our time at Ocean City High School. We graduate today equipped with the tools necessary to understand the world around us, to become global citizens, and to seize every opportunity to learn. Our future education, our future careers, depend on our ability to recognize and take advantage of the wisdom the world has to offer. It is not enough to read about or to research our interests. To truly gain wisdom, we must travel, must see, and must interact with the world. More important than leaving a mark on the world is our willingness to have the world leave a mark on us. To enhance our world, we must absorb that which it has to offer: its art, its writing, and its natural beauty.
I invite you today
to join me in this view of education, this quest for enlightenment. For
education truly is a journey, one on which we must embark willingly, with open
minds and a sense of humility. Thank you, and congratulations again to the
Class of 2014.