Gail Sweezey Convocation Remarks
We carefully selected you from nearly 5800 applications. Your class comes from 36 states and 15 foreign countries and it is clear from your applications that you represent the best of your high school graduating classes. Here are some highlights of who you are and the interesting talent in this class.
Some of you have already taken college level courses; you have been recognized as a National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar; you have received a Presidential Award for Academic Excellence; you have been named an All-American for excellence in academics and athletics. You have been leaders in several national Honor societies. You conducted research at the National institute for Health and started a Japanese language course at your high school. You are a member of the Shakespeare Theater Company, you interned at the National Cancer Institute and you worked on a human rights project in Geneva. You are a docent at a 17th century farm in New England. To quote one teacher "you are very bright and make an enormous difference wherever you go."
You have also made a difference through service to others. You are a volunteer firefighter, and an EMT. You founded a community book-drive called "5000 books for DC Kids" and you are in a puppet troupe that teaches children about disabilities. You raise Seeing Eye dogs. You started a chapter of Aids Alive at your high school and you are a volunteer for Midnight Run in NYC. You were the student representative to the school board, a peer mediator and a peer tutor.
"You have been", to quote one guidance counselor, "a role model and a leader by example". You started a recycling program at your school, completed the Boston Marathon and Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. You participated in the Bulgarian Session of the European Youth Parliament and you started your schools diversity club. You were a soloist for the Honors Youth Chorale tour in Brazil and an international sportscaster for Hanoi TV. You have written a novel, edited your school newspaper, the literary magazine, and the yearbook. You were the student body president. You had the lead in your school theatre productions and you were voted Baltimore Athlete of the Year in Field Hockey. You are a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and nationally ranked in Irish Step Dance. You are jazz musicians, vocalists, artists and varsity athletes. The list is endless.
You are an extraordinary group of students! And we expect you to do great work as you contribute in positive ways to this academic community.
Now it is time for me to pass you on to the faculty and to Jay White, Provost of Gettysburg College. Provost White, can you please stand so that I may present the class?
And will the Class of 2012 and other new students please stand and remain standing until the conclusion of the statements that the provost and I are about to make.
With confidence and hope, the admissions office presents to the faculty the Class of 2012 and other new students. We have confidence in their abilities, and we have high hopes for their achievement under your guidance. We have carefully selected these students from nearly 5800 applicants. They are individuals who are deserving of access to our rich educational resources and who are promising in their potential to make best use of this opportunity. Their high school teachers have recommended them to us, praising their diligence, their eagerness, and their initiative. To these young women and men, dedicated teachers provided initial forms of intellectual direction. Now we commend these students to you, knowing that your teaching will intensify the challenges of learning to which they have been introduced, and that your guidance and support will enable them to meet these new challenges and will also make an enormous difference in their lives.