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Eckerd College Commencement
Speeches and Remarks

Invocation
The Rev. Mr. Stephen E. Graves '75

First, I ask that we observe a moment of silence for our sisters and brothers at VA Tech...our hearts, spirits, and prayers are with them

Wondrous God, as we gather at this hour, we are tempted to see graduation as a rite of passage...a day celebrating individual achievement and accomplishment; and, certainly, there are hundreds of compelling stories represented here; but may we remember that the gift of creation, through which we received life and breath, was an act of relationship - a promise, a blessing, a covenant. So may we honor the relationships that have made this day possible. Among them are:

  • The dreams in the heart of a mother
  • The hopes, determination, and sacrifices of family
  • Teachers...we may not have learned everything we need to know about life in kindergarten, but they provided a core of knowledge and values
  • Churches, synagogues, temples, houses of worship...nurturing a foundation of faith which challenges us to realize what it means to be human
  • The faculty, administration, and fellow students at Eckerd College, who have propagated an environment within which to understand and interpret the building blocks of life: wisdom, justice, maturity, ethics, modes of learning, methodologies of practice, faith, and community. I thank you, O God, that, over the years, these graduates will come to realize ever more clearly the unique and precious qualities of the "Eckerd experience."

Today then, we do rightly celebrate the individual graduates of whom we are so proud.

Remind us, however, that creation is still unfolding; and as it was and is, so it will always be about relationships.

Bless us, O God, we pray by the glory of your everlasting covenant. Amen.

Eckerd College
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