Members of the Class of 2018, Parents, Relatives & Friends,
Welcome to Saint Anselm College! Today you have experienced a taste of true Anselmian hospitality. There may still be some bags that have to be unpacked and a poster or two to hang on the walls. But savor this moment for you are now a proud member of the Class of 2018.
Your class holds a special distinction as you enter during the 125th anniversary year of Saint Anselm College. Abbot Hilary, the college's first president, welcomed students in front of this very building, Alumni Hall, a building constructed twice because it had been destroyed by fire. During the construction of this very plaza last year, bricks were found from the original structure. It was through the perseverance of the first monastic community that this building was reconstructed using those very same bricks. The college then opened and a legacy began.
Your place in our history should not be taken lightly. When we gather together on Sunday evening to raise your class banner you will officially be inducted into the Class of 2018. At that time you will receive a class pin as a symbol of your Anselmian heritage. At that moment, the 529 bright women and men before me today will become one family, one class, with one mission: to earn a degree at Saint Anselm College by fulfilling all the necessary requirements, and graduate…ON TIME!
This is not an easy task, in fact it is meant to be a challenge. It requires hard work, time management, work-life balance and, like the first monks to arrive here, perseverance. We will work with you to keep you on track, but ultimately it is YOUR responsibility. And parents, we need your help to insure a successful four year journey. Since we are not allowed to share personal information unless students sign a release, you too must ask the necessary questions. Do you have enough credits to graduate on time? Have you taken the required courses? Will we see you walking down this center aisle in four years? Students, we all want you to succeed. If you hit a stumbling block, and most of you will, we are here to help you. DO NOT WAIT until it is too late.
There are three things I would ask you to keep in mind as you begin your academic studies at Saint Anselm College.
The first is Friends. It is critically important that you make at least three close friends this semester. These are friends you can lean on when the going gets tough and celebrate with during the best of times. Friends you can spend time with eating, meeting and greeting. Friends with whom you may play a sport, do community service projects, participate in theater or politics. Friends that will last a lifetime.
The second is Family. Please remember to call home. Or at least send a text message. This newfound freedom is a luxury. Do not forget that your family is always there for you. Time passes quickly, especially in college. Thank your family for all they have done to help you along the path that has led you here today. You must say three simple words to your parents and loved ones. Three words that we sometimes take for granted. Three words that express your deepest gratitude. I Love You.
Finally, there is Faith. Your faith will be strengthened at Saint Anselm College because our community is rooted in our Benedictine tradition. No matter what your religious denomination may be, find a way to strengthen your own spirituality. Make time to attend liturgies. Participate in retreats or community service. Take time for personal reflection. Treasure the beauty of this campus. Your future will be shaped in large part by the development of your faith.
I look forward to getting to know each of you during the course of the next four years. The Class of 2018 is beginning a journey at Saint Anselm College during a very significant year in our history. And in just four short years we will gather again at this very place to celebrate your commencement. Today I congratulate you on your arrival. You now have 48 months to figure out what is next!
Class of 2018: Welcome and Congratulations. Be active participants in your collegiate experience. And remember those three simple things to treasure: Friends, Family and Faith. Parents and family members, we will see you during family weekend in October. I wish you Godspeed as you return to a quieter home.
May God Bless the Class of 2018. And may His blessings be upon us all as we embark on these next four years together.