Posts Tagged ‘Graduates’

University of Notre Dame’s Commencement Ceremony

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Congratulations to the graduates of 2013! Yesterday I addressed the graduates of the University of Notre Dame’s Commencement Ceremony and received an honorary degree. I would like to share a copy of my speech with you.

Here is an excerpt:

Thank you, Notre Dame, for the joy of your company, the gracious invitation, the warm welcome, and the high honor of this degree.

It was so obvious I almost missed it . . .

See, ever since, almost a year ago, Father Jenkins, with characteristic thoughtfulness, invited me to deliver this commencement address, I’ve been mulling over just what to say to you, class of 2013.

Only Friday a week ago I still had not yet completed this talk, and I got on the train in New York City to travel to D.C.   In Philadelphia, a distinguished looking man boarded the train and sat next to me.

He turned out to be a fanatical, in-your-face, obnoxious Notre Dame alumnus!  You ever met one?  Nice to meet you!  Now I guess I am proudly one, after the privilege of this honorary degree which I so appreciate and cherish!  He begins to speak with obviously radiant pride and gratitude about Notre Dame, telling me his faithful Jewish parents wanted him to attend a Catholic college – – because, in their words.  “The Church founded the universities, and educate better than anybody else” – – and reporting to me that, even as a faithful Jew, he considers his four years here at this Catholic university a gift beyond measure.  When I told him I’d be here for graduation, he beamed.

Click here to read the full text.