Comments of President Kevin Quigley
Greetings to all of the 2020 Graduates and to your families and friends. We truly wish that you could be here so that we could celebrate your accomplishments in Persons Auditorium. I begin by expressing deep gratitude to the families, friends, staff and faculty who supported our students in achieving this milestone goal.
Thinking about the arc of your lives, I am reminded that you have been through so much to get to this moment… and everyone in the Marlboro community is very proud of you. Your lives have been shaped by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Great Recession, the growing evidence of irreparable damage to planet earth, and the stark reminders of the persistence of racism, sexism and demonization of those different from us. On top of all of that, your lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and a global economic trauma unlike anything since the Great Depression.
Given these myriad disruptions around your life, you have shown remarkable flexibility and resilience. You adjusted well to circumstances beyond your control. Here at Marlboro College, you changed along the way as you pursued your passion by taking a big idea from conception to execution, honing your communication skills and contributing to the Marlboro learning community in multiple ways. The lessons learned here on Potash Hill will endure. As you already have adapted to so much change, you have demonstrated that you can and will adapt to further changes throughout your lives.
On this special day, I want to acknowledge the former students who returned to Marlboro knowing that this was the College’s final semester here. These “returning” students worked with great dedication supported by a remarkably flexible Marlboro faculty. We applaud their completion.
Besides congratulating all the undergraduates, I want to especially recognize our graduates from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, who too often feel forgotten here on Potash Hill.
Maya Angelou wrote wisely in Letter to My Daughter, “I can be changed by what happens to me.But I refuse to be reduced by it.” You certainly have been changed by your life and Marlboro experiences. Yet, you have not been reduced. You are well prepared for your journey ahead.
Congratulations graduates from the class of 2020, my hope rests in name of this year—2020—and as that suggests, may you have the clarity of vision to look backwards and forwards shaping lives of purpose and enabling meaningful contributions to your communities wherever they may be.