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Appreciate your speaker

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, April 6, 2008

Every year an undergraduate commencement speaker is selected. Every year this announcement is followed swiftly by another snotty student complaining that the Pope, the President of the United States, or Bono was not selected for this most honorable event. Senator Lugar was not good enough. Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, was not good enough. Now, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is not good enough. Every year I am embarrassed and disgusted that our student body feels the need to chide the University and the speaker for not being “good enough” for Notre Dame undergraduate students.Is it possible that undergraduate students no longer have the ability to look beyond their own pop culture and Comedy Central political pundits’ know-how to really examine what light these speakers may shed on their experience in the real world? Can true knowledge only be revealed by those whose names we recognize? If that were the case, then it would follow that there is not a single worthy piece of knowledge the graduating class of 2008 will be able to bring to the world upon graduation. I know this cannot be true. I know there are wonderfully bright and eager minds who hope their degree will be a ticket to impact their communities and bring some fresh eyes to some persistent problems. After being in the workforce for a couple of years, we are excited to have you. Trust me, we need you.Our past commencement speakers have made a significant impact in our world and it seems that the Letter to the Editor writers over the years are too obtuse to recognize these speakers’ true value. In the end, it’s just a speaker. No one remembers their graduation ceremony. What you do remember are the 15 pounds you gained during a ridiculous party during senior week, the tears you shed when you say your last goodbyes to your family of friends at the grotto and all of the experiences that have prepared you for your next significant journey into the world. So can we please stop reinforcing this perceived cocky Notre Dame attitude? Let’s show what Notre Dame class, spirit and dedication is all about.

Joanna Cornwellalumclass of 2005Apr. 3