Saturday, June 7, 2008

Commencement


"What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. ...

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And to know the place for the first time."


--T.S. Eliot
[1]

Today was graduation for the Tuck Class in 2008. Spirits were high, undamped by the hot and humid weather. Graduation for the business school is called an investiture, rather than the more traditional commencement. Per Webster’s (see below,) there’s a century separating the origins.

in·ves·ti·ture
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin investitura, from investitus, past participle of investire
Date: 14th century
1 : the act of establishing in office or ratifying
2 : something that covers or adorns

com·mence·ment
Function: noun
Date: 13th century
1: an act, instance, or time of commencing
2 a: the ceremonies or the day for conferring degrees or diplomas b: the period of activities at this time

Etymology aside, I was struck by the emphasis on life and relationships. The class president quoted Churchill at the beginning and end of his speech: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” He spoke about giving to the world, community and each other. The student who followed him talked about “Tuck love” and the sense of community among the students (and alumni.) The willingness to help each other stood out in his speech. Even the reading of the 1904 letter by Mr. Edward Tuck, son of the man for whom the school is named, spoke to the giving side of the school: “To the maxim of honesty is the best policy should be added another: that altruism is the highest and best form of egoism…” For a place that I noted on another day was the bastion of left-brain thinking, here was a litany of right-brained thought. The founders of the school would be proud.

Here are some photos from the ceremony:

The students elected as Tuck Scholars


A standing ovation for the graduating class


After the recessional. The pictures with family begin.

I return to Save the Children on Wednesday. So this is a commencement of sorts for me as well. As Eliot so eloquently says, “The end is where we start from.” Look for more entries in this Blog as I reenter the world of work, no doubt a changed man.

[1] T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets, Little Gidding, V, 214-216, 239-242.

2 comments:

David Isaak said...

I was hoping that your blog would continue...

Genevieve & Roger said...

Congratulations again on such a fruitful fellowship! I hope you continue the blog so we can read more about how your time at Tuck continues to impact your work at STC and NetHope. Thanks for all your ideas and your encouragement. Best, Genevieve