Commencement 2011


Closing Remarks

Dr. Donald R. Eastman, III, President of Eckerd College

Dr. Donald R. Eastman, IIIMen and women of Eckerd College, the end is near.

At the Ceremony of Lights, on August 11, 2007, I handed you who were freshmen Eckerd College medallions commemorating the beginning of your college careers, and today I handed you your diplomas to end it. The first was a gift; the second was earned.

Last night we sang at Baccalaureate the same inspiring words from Harry Emerson Fosdick's enduring hymn that we have sung at the Ceremony of Lights each year: Grant us wisdom; grant us courage - for the facing of the hour; for the facing of the hour.

Residential and PEL graduates, fellow students who have arrived at this glorious day by so many various paths, we hope that your years at Eckerd College have prepared you for a life of ceaseless change, generous service, and moral courage - "for the facing of the hour."

We will know by your work if we have succeeded.

As you march off today to lives of imagination, service, and discovery, remember all those who have helped you get to this great day: your parents, spouses, lovers and loved ones, mentors and teachers, all your family of Eckerd faculty and staff and fellow students.

Remember also those who go with you only in spirit.

Remember your fallen classmate, Holt Weeks. In the fall of 2009, you and your classmates chose for anthem and motif Bob Dylan's immortal song "Forever Young." May that song also provide the dedicatory hymn for the lives of committed service and rigorous pursuit of truth that you go now to lead:

"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young."

You are, as Dylan Thomas should have said, the boys and girls of summer, and autumn beckons. Therefore I say hail and farewell, the old Roman salute, to you now. Hail to all the imagination and heart you bring to create the future; farewell to your life here as students who have felt, I hope, not only well tutored, but well loved.

We will miss you.

After the recessional, we invite everyone to please join us on the field in celebration of our graduates.

Our revels are now ended. Would all please rise, and the bearer of the mace will do his duty.

Commencement 2011 Coverage

Commencement 2011 Coverage

Check out photos, remarks, honorary degree and award recipient information from Commencement 2011.

Commencement 2011

The Commencement of the Class of 2011 of Eckerd College

Sunday, May 22, 2011
8:00 a.m.

South Beach Field Eckerd College