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“I’ve been particularly struck this year to more often see words such as integrity, commitment, honesty, public interest, ethics, loyalty permeate your narrative statements. So many of you are survivors and have dealt with life’s difficult sides - tragic deaths of loved ones, divorce, terrible car accidents, debilitating illnesses, dissolution of families, murder, and the loss of a dear brother in the World Trade Center on the fateful 9/11. Yet you endure and strive to be better. One of you wrote, “We have a choice to use the gift of our lives to make the world a better place” and another wrote that he subscribed to Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy that using education to further civic participation is not only appealing, but also an obligation.”

“I could go on and on telling you tidbits about your class. There are 158 stories and all of them shed light on the personalities sitting amongst you.”