Commencement speeches at Simon’s Rock are as sincere as they are inspiring. Similarly to the atmosphere found in the classroom and pretty much everywhere on campus, speakers don’t come to the podium to lecture. Instead, their remarks are more like invitations. Especially this one.
This year, like many before, it was a Bard College at Simon’s Rock alumnus who addressed the graduates. Christa Brelsford, a PhD candidate in sustainability at the University of Arizona and former literacy volunteer in Haiti, demonstrated what it means to live a commencement speech. While volunteering in Haiti Brelsford suffered injuries that led to the loss of her leg. After returning to the U.S. for medical treatment, she founded a charity to support Haitian educators.
During the Commencement speech, she recounted her experience, the lessons she learned, and reminded graduates to be kind, to do “good work.” And she invited the graduates to join her in “helping save the world.”
Simon’s Rock Board Chair, the President, and the Provost, all encouraged with similar enthusiasm the Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts graduates they shared the stage with to go out and make a better world.
It has been observed that Simon’s Rock students make an active choice to attend Simon’s Rock and, in turn, remain active in every aspect of their lives. A characteristic that is inescapably apparent in most Simon’s Rock students and especially visible at Commencement. Below are the voices that make this small institution a significant player in bettering the world.
- Alumna Christa Brelsford’s speech
- Board Chair Emily Fisher’s remarks
- Bachelor of Arts class speaker, Abigail Edber
- Associate of Arts class speaker, Lauren Dahlin
- President Botstein’s Charge to the Graduates
- Images from Commencement