Farewell Speech

Topics: Cornell University, Andrew Dickson White, 2007 singles Pages: 4 (1095 words) Published: October 18, 2012
I remember when I first heard of Cornell.
They said Cornell was a school where you would walk up a 90 degree hill in 5 degree weather to score a 20 on an exam.

I recall laughing at that description. Little did I know how literal that portrayal really was.

That being said, what a great huge climb up the hill we've all had. Without the comfort of home, grade inflation, and trust funds, we are the egalitarian member of the Ivy League's freshest batch of eager minds greased by the will power that only Dijon Burgers and Hot Truck PMPs can bestow.

Today, we celebrate the legacies of our families, our cultures, our nations, and our alma mater.

Maybe it's because I am a Hotelie, but I feel like I have been celebrating the entire time I've been here. From the first time I stuffed myself into Statler Hall's highly populated elevator, to the last time I attended a TCAB/Rhapsody, I have felt incredibly blessed to have learned and laughed along side some very fine people... and their very fine wines.

A few nights ago, as I sat crafting this eloquent and politically correct speech at 4 a.m. thinking this was the most difficult paper I have ever written and hopefully my last all-nighter, it occurred to me that I might not have learned everything I should have during my time here.

You might say that I had a Gatsby moment because I wandered outside of my apartment on Catherine Street and hiked up to see the two people who could give me the answers I demanded. I went to speak with our founders, Andrew Dickson White and Ezra Cornell.

It was well past midnight, so of course I didn't expect the two statues to get up and shake hands with each other.

First, I explained to them that I was generally happy with my college education.

Second, I admitted to having made mistakes from which I learned lessons the hard way.

And third: I told them that despite having had the same haircut and wardrobe since sixth grade, I have had substantial personal growth.

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