At the 120th Radnor High Commencement

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Last evening, at the 120th commencement of Radnor High School, I watched 293 beautiful students cross the stage at the Villanova Pavilion. Listened to families and friends roar for them. Admired the teachers and administrators, librarians and coaches, band leaders and artisans who have helped lead them to now. There was Adam Thomson, a young man who grew up in my church. There was Morganne Boulden, whose father, Tom, was (back in our own Radnor day) and still is a deeply appreciated friend. There were the builders of non-profit foundations, the athletes, the painters, philosophers, mathematicians, the seekers and doers—each one special.

Principal Dan Bechtold, Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Kelly, and students Andrew Ciatto and Katie Wakiyama—thank you for making last night so entirely memorable for me. A condensed version of my remarks will run in this Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer, on the front page of the Currents section. For now, this, below. For always, congratulations.

The sky was on fire when I rose to write these words. A swell of orange. A streak of flax. Mad and wonderful cinnamon reds. The sky was on fire, but there was also, oddly, rain, and the comfort of bird talk, and the huff of an old bus traveling the road just beyond. A school bus, in its end-of-school-year rounds.

I sat on my couch and I thought about you. I thought about your journey to now, to this place beneath this famous dome. Your classmates beside you. Your admirers in the stands. Your teachers and coaches and administrators near.

Your mortarboards crushing your coifs.

Your tassels eager for the toss.


Debbie Levy said...

What a lucky audience. What a grand beginning!

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