Dr. Donald R. Eastman III, President of Eckerd College
Men and women of Eckerd College, the end is near.
At the Ceremony of Lights, on August 13, 2010, I handed you who were freshmen Eckerd College medallions commemorating the beginning of your college careers, and today we handed you your diplomas to end it. The first was a gift; the second was earned.
Four years ago, at your first ceremony as Eckerd College students, we sang the inspiring words from Harry Emerson Fosdick’s enduring hymn: 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 the lives you lead 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 Nate Mosby, your classmate who goes with you now only in spirit. Remember and keep alive his commitment to the transforming service of others.
Of course, in the end, what you will most remember of your experiences of Eckerd College will be the community you were part of, the very special community of learning, exploration, discussion, service, debate, good times and bad, happy days and sad, full of deep and lasting friendships with extraordinary teachers and ardent learners.