Summer 1999 Emory Magazine

Commencement 1999

"May we here today be exhilarated"

Five Receive Honorary Degrees
154th Commencement Facts

Student Awards
Brittain Award: Cameron N. Welborn '99L
McMullan Award: Brant D. Brown '99C

Ones to Watch
Brian M. Oubre'99C
Katrina R. Samuels '99C
Stephanie M. Denton '99C

Kenya K. Hansford '99B
Jason R. Howard '99B

Oxford College Commencement
Millennial musings
"You have given us yourself"

An exuberant Eric Coffman, a
double major in Spanish and political science and a native of Falmouth, Massachusetts, bids farewell to the familiar faces and places at Emory.

“May we here today

Be Exhilarated”



For those Emory graduates who are about to enter the workaday world, the outlook is brighter than it has been in decades, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich told 3,156 degree recipients at the University's 154th Commencement.

The difference, Reich said, is that the marketplace is shifting toward a "knowledge economy."

"We stand at a rare moment in history when we are preeminent in the world," he said. "No place on earth offers greater opportunity, wider choice, more freedom to forge your life's work. . . . I want to assure you, you can pretty much do whatever you want to. I urge you to give it a try."

--Former Secretary of Labor
Robert B. Reich

Reich also emphasized the importance of a different type of knowledge--self-knowledge--and wisdom (or "know-why") over know-how.

"You hear a lot of people talking about life-long learning these days, and the new economy certainly does require that you keep up," he said. "In order to make wise choices about your life's work, you're going to need to know something of who you are and what you'll need to [become who] you want to be. . . . Go forth and use the tools you have been given here to gather as much knowledge as you can. Make the world better, too, if you can. . . . Most importantly, be as wise as you can be. Learn to know yourself, and be true to the very best in what you find there."

President William M. Chace concluded the ceremony with the conferring of the degrees, saying, "The rhythm of this ceremony thus reminds us that to be human is to teach. It's one of the oldest human skills. Loving parents have taught; they are here today to bear witness to their love. Skilled professors have taught; their students shine today. And now the world, with all its novel, exquisite, and painful challenges, stands ready to carry on the great adventure of teaching you in which Emory University has been glad to take its part. May these students be prepared, may the world be merciful, may we here today be exhilarated."



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