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A suggestion for our future

Observer Viewpoint | Monday, April 18, 2005

As the year slowly winds down for the class of 2005, minds inevitably flock to memories of the past four years: the friends, the laughter, even the classes. After the ceremony of graduation next month, we will all move on to new lives in new places with new people, yet within all of our hearts, we will always carry these memories of our university. No doubt, all of us will look back on the University of Notre Dame with great fondness.

Nevertheless, some questions remain. What has Notre Dame inspired us to do? How will we share the blessings that we have encountered here with the rest of the world? How will we respond to the rest of the world?

We can begin with a little pledge. Over the past weeks, a committee of senior class members has gathered for the sake of promoting the 2005 Senior Class Pledge of Social Responsibility. It is the hope of this committee that all graduating members of the class of 2005 will keep the ideals of goodness, charity, truth and justice in our hearts throughout our lives. The Pledge reads:

“The University seeks to cultivate in its students not only an appreciation for the great achievements of human beings but also a disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice and oppression that burden the lives of so many. The aim is to create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice (University of Notre Dame Mission Statement).”

“I pledge to incorporate these values into an exploration of the social, humanitarian and environmental consequences of any job I consider; and to strive to make these values present in any organization for which I work.”

It is short. It is simple. Some of you may think nothing of it. But contained within these words are the manifestations of God’s charity which the University of Notre Dame has taught us so well. These must be remembered.

During the week of April 18-22, representatives from the committee will be around campus, collecting signatures of seniors who wish to commit to the Pledge. Those who sign the Pledge will receive a wallet-sized card with the Pledge on it to take with them.

Signatures will be collected through Senior Week and displayed during Commencement Weekend. It may not sound like much, but with the business cards in hand, hopefully you will be able to remind yourself of your commitment and maybe someday may not even need to be reminded at all.

All graduates of Notre Dame remember the football games, the parties, the roommates. It is the hope and prayer of this committee that we, the class of 2005, will always remember the values so dear to the mission of the University, values of charity to all Christians and to all of humanity. Please let this pledge be the start.

Benjamin O’Connor


Alumni Hall

April 15