Monday, September 21, 2009

"College is an enormous privilege."

"College is an enormous privilege."

This short sentence encapsulates the advice that author Ann Patchett imparted to the freshmen and recent transfers who attended Thursday's annual First Year Academic Convocation, the first of two bookend processions that will unite Boston College's sesquicentennial class. The newest members of the BC community wound their way from Linden Lane to Conte Forum bearing torches and holding flags from their respective residence halls in a march intended to unite the class of 2013 at the start of its shared four-year experience at BC.

University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., introduced Patchett to the crowd with a suggestion for the freshmen in the crowd: "It's certainly my hope and prayer that just as we want to give life to you, we ask that you give life to the Boston College community. We're privileged to have you here - you're privileged to be at Boston College," he said.

And though the speaker he introduced wore an unassuming black dress and a motherly smile, Patchett had strong words of advice for the students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members whom she addressed. She said that her audience should feel lucky, not entitled, to be able to attend college, and a prestigious one at that, and to not take the experience for granted.

"College is not the place you come to grow up," she said. "You are grown up. You are old enough to get married and go to war with no one's permission but your own. You are responsible for your actions and accountable for your mistakes. You know, every last one of you, right from wrong, so do this right. Take very good care of yourselves."

For the entire article click "An Enormous Privilege" - Boston College Heights

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