Thursday, May 21, 2009

Advice for Graduates

Much has been made of Obama's comments at Notre Dame. Bill Cosby and Kurt Vonnegut's commencement comments were widely circulated a few years back. Our speakers last weekend were Judy Woodruff and Al Hunt. They were good. Some years you get folks who aren't. We had Harold Prince a few years back and for someone with such a rich theater background, he really didn't have a sense of the stage he was playing. He came off as angry and bitter (and I say this as someone who shares his politics and even shared his outrage at the time) in a way that masked any insights he might be trying to pass on at this meaningful point in the lives of the graduates and their families. It is a time of mixed emotions, joy and trepidation chief among them, and it requires the right touch.

So, suppose you got the call. In this tricky time of economic crisis with students about to head out into the so-called real world, what advice would you give them?