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Welcome and Reading

Salem Shuchman '84

Hello everyone, good morning. I'm Salem Shuchman, chair of the Board of Managers and I am so pleased to welcome you all here today to Swarthmore College's 147th commencement ceremonies. Let us pause for a moment of silence. Thank you.

As a Swarthmore graduate, a Swarthmore spouse, and a Swarthmore parent, it has been my honor to serve the College as a member of the Board since 2000 and as chair of the Board since 2018. I am thankful for the opportunity to give back to a place and a community that has meant so much to me and my family over the decades and that I know means so much to those of you who've gathered here.

I want to begin by congratulating the Class of 2019. We have all come together today to celebrate your hard work, dedication and achievement and you should be tremendously proud of what you've accomplished over the last four years. College is a time of growth and self reflection, an opportunity to learn about yourself and the world around you. It is a time where you can learn to ask important, sometimes difficult questions and where you build the skills to meaningfully answer them.

I believe it is a great privilege to do this learning at Swarthmore, surrounded by your smart, passionate, thoughtful peers and the talented and committed faculty and staff that make this place special. Swarthmore teaches us the importance of community and of striving for a common good. It teaches us the value of dialogue and the power of curiosity. You will continue to grow and change in ways you cannot yet imagine, well after you leave campus.

But as you look forward to whatever comes next, I hope you remember what may be the most important lesson of Swarthmore, that we are strengthened by our ties to this place, and to each other. So, on behalf of the Board of Managers, I want to once again welcome everyone to today's celebration. You will soon hear from President Smith and our honorary degree recipients who will share their warmth and their wisdom with us.

But before we do, to the members of the Class of 2019, I want to wish you once again a huge congratulations.

John Chen '76 'P'19

"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. One who is devoid of the power to forgive, is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us, and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.