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|Commencement Day, 1996||Medical Dean|
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|Heard at Harvard||The Undergraduate|
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|Phillips Brooks House||The University|
Commencement Day Articles
Duck Story · The Day Itself · Honoris Causa · Let There Be Awe
"Gone Outta Here" · Learning On Line · Commencement Confetti · The Return of the Obstinate
Tom Brokaw, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, addressed seniors and their parents and guests in Tercentenary Theatre on Wednesday, Class Day. He spoke of the wise use of the information superhighway, observing that "This is the first time in history that kids are teaching their parents to drive." He identified the main problem of our time as "racial hostility, envy, and oppression." He gave a good old-fashioned commencement address, full of exhortations, reminding his listeners at the end that the world did not begin when they were born.
Yours can be the age of tolerance and understanding-of gender as well as ethnic differences.
| Tom Brokaw reported that he had been "described in the Crimson as 'a quasi-intellectual.' That's something that staff members of The Harvard Crimson would know something about."|
Young women, you must also remember that life is about proportion and chosing balance. A balance, if you so choose, between a professional and a personal life. You must remember that motherhood is not incidental to a life of fulfillment.
How will your time be marked?
Fifty years ago this spring, in 1946, another generation of young Americans, many from this institution, celebrated another special spring in their lives-their first spring of peace in five years. Together with their allies they had won the war against Hitler and Nazi Germany and imperialist Japan. They had done no less than save civilization. They were born, most of them, in the Roaring Twenties and came of age in the Great Depression, when all in the land was bleak and without much hope. They left their homes, many of them in small villages or farms in rural America, for the first time, and went thousands of miles away to fight, often hand to hand, in primitive conditions, the two mightiest war machines that had ever been assembled. And they won. They saved us. We are their legacy.
| Under the parasol, Caitlin Anderson '96 of Pforzheimer House and Hopkinton, Massachusetts. |
I am, quite simply, in awe of them.
Fifty years from now, let another Class Day speaker stand here and say, of your generation, "They saved their world. I am in awe of them."
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