Return to Program and Remarks
Vice President, Eckerd College Organization of Students
September 8, 2010
George Moore once stated, "A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it."
Friends, Faculty, and Eckerd College Community, Welcome home. After a summer filled with new adventures of world travel, research and strenuous 9-5 jobs or perhaps those of you who perfected that golden brown tan- We join together today to celebrate the beginning of the upcoming academic year, the arrival of the class of 2014 as well as the new faculty and staff into our Eckerd college family. While today is about commemorating our futures at Eckerd, I want to take a moment to share with you one of my favorite pieces of Eckerd, by looking back on our past.
In the fall of 1960, the founding students of Florida Presbyterian College gathered together, as we are today, but instead of returning home they began to build one. Each student had been given a lapel pin of a fiddler crab meant to symbolize the first inhabitants of our beautiful sandy campus. The fiddler crab, much like the students, were hearty creatures that when their paths were blocked, intuitively sought a new route home. While members of the founding class still fondly associate with the fiddler-crab, later generations of students would begin to identify themselves as the Eckerd College Tritons. Our transformation from a small, fiesty fiddler crab to the mighty sea god Triton occurred in November 1960 when Florida Presbyterian College students voted in our mascot as the sea god of mythology who had the torso of a man and tail of a fish and calmed waves with his conch shell trumpet.
Yes, a Triton is a mighty mythological sea god, but alas the triton is also represented as a two gendered gastropod (that's a snail for non-science majors), the largest moon on the planet neptune and even a wave. It is important to note that a trident is different than a triton- which is the hearty spear that Poseidon waves. Do you now see why this can become so confusing- there are multiple definitions but only one truth: You are a triton. A triton is an intellectual, a student, a professor, a community member, an athlete, an artist, a musician, a member of ECOS, EC-SAR, or one of the 87 clubs on campus, a yellow bike rider, a residential advisor, a lover of food from the pub, an environmentalist, brainy and barefoot, a global citizen, someone with courage, faith and perseverance.
As we begin this upcoming year, I challenge you to find your inner triton. Whether you chose to be a fiddler crab, a gastropod, a three pronged spear, a sea god of mythology, or a wave- find passion in all of your days by doing what you love and if your path does happen to become blocked, seek a new route home. Welcome home Tritons.