tv Mayor Michael Nutter Commencement Address at Saint Josephs University CSPAN May 31, 2015 12:37pm-12:57pm EDT
planet. we see how technology has given new destructive tools to groups who use religion as a license to murder, as if god's commandment were “thou shalt kill.” and we see how many of the assumptions of my generation and your parents' generation about the 21st century have been proven wrong. to put it another way, the world's a mess. that is a diplomatic term of art. i am sorry, but it is true. yet for all the anxieties and turmoil that surround us, i have to say that i remain an optimist , though an optimist who worries a lot. around the world, america remains the brightest beacon of human liberty. we are diverse, we are entrepreneurial, and we are resilient. no other country is in a better position to succeed in this new era than we are, so we must be unafraid to exercise our
leadership in support of peace in defense of liberty, and to further justice. but we must also realize that, that for all our power, we can rarely succeed by simply going it alone. if we want the world to heed our views and follow our lead, we must listen to the concerns of others. we must listen confidently to rising powers such as china, who want to have a greater say in global governance, as we push them to abide by the same rules that we ourselves uphold. we must listen to scientists who say global warming is a real and grave threat to our future -- [applause] secretary albright: scientists who believe that conservation is a national security imperative not a four-letter word. and we must listen to those who argue that globalization should not lead to marginalization of the world's poor.
i have traveled almost everywhere, and i have found that there are essentially three categories of countries in the world today. in the first, people work all day and still don't have enough to eat. in the second, families are able to scrape together just enough food to meet their basic needs. in the third category of countries, diet books are bestsellers. of course, the same distinctions also apply to the neighborhoods of boston and baltimore, and to the mountains of appalachia and the american west. confronted with this hard truth, some people simply shrug their shoulders and say that such inequality is too bad, but there is not anything anyone can do about it. i say, such unfairness is intolerable, and we each have a responsibility to change it. [applause]
as the “light on the hill,” the tufts community has always taken these responsibilities seriously and today's graduates are no exception. through protests and marches you have made your voices heard on behalf of the voiceless. you have stood up on behalf of workers, you have spoken out against the scourge of sexual assault, you have made clear that black lives matter, and you have pressed for action on climate change. with the assistance of institutions such as tisch college, you have shown yourselves to be active citizens and i am proud that this commitment to public service was recognized when the truman scholarship foundation, which i chair, named tufts its honor institution last year. so there is an awful lot to congratulate you on today. but, as i said earlier, i want to challenge you to do far, far more after you leave this wonderful place. for while there was a time when you could say that you did not
know enough, today, armed with this extraordinary education , there can be no doubt that you can help produce enough food build enough shelter, deliver enough medicine, and share enough knowledge to allow people everywhere to live better and more productive lives. now, i don't intend to put the weight of the world upon your shoulders, because that is always be your parent's job. but i do hope, actually, i insist, that each of you, after bidding farewell to jumbo, and having your last drink at the burren, use the knowledge gained here at tufts to be more than a consumer of liberty. i insist that you also be a defender and an enricher of it employing your talents to heal help and teach, both here at home and abroad. i insist that you be doers, not just hearers. i insist that you put your opinions to the test, when
required, you dare, as tufts' motto suggests, to be voices crying for peace and light. because your choices will make all the difference to you, and to all of us. the future depends not on the stars or some mysterious forces of history; but rather on the decisions that you make, and i truly, truly mean that. you are the leaders of tomorrow, and it will be your job to pick up the baton so often mishandled by the leaders of yesterday and today. it the job that you must approach with modesty, for some of what is thought to be knowledge today will be considered mistaken assumptions tomorrow. but humility and critical thinking, when combined with courage and determination, are indispensable qualities of leadership. it is said that all work that is worth doing is done in faith.
today, at this ceremony of cherished memory and shared resolve, let us each embrace the faith that every challenge surmounted by our energy; every problem solved by our wisdom; every soul awakened by our passion; and every barrier to justice brought down by our determination will ennoble our own lives, inspire others, and explode outward the boundaries of what is achievable on this earth. to the class of 2015, i say again, congratulations. and thank you so much for making me a part of your remarkable class. teamwork. [applause]
the class of 2015. i could not be more honored to be here with you. let's recognize our graduates first. [applause] mayor nutter: thank you father gillespie two leaders of the clinical science department, thank you for that recitation for some of my history. i did lean over to father gillespie and say that the intro might be a little longer than my speech this afternoon. [laughter] [applause] mayor nutter: i thought you might enjoy that. to our great board of trustees and our chairman and money penny
, to the many people here who have had the opportunity to know and work with since i moved here. i've been actively engaged in the community for a long time. i had the opportunity to represent st. joseph's university. i have gotten to know some many here, and if you would allow me, i would like to recognize a pew of those folks. dr. robert moore father burr, and so many others. i want to thank all of you for the love and support, the french of engagement we have had over
so many years. all of the people who work here, and certainly the leadership of the faculty, the staff, those who take care of the incredible campus,. can we recognize those who make st. joseph's university great place everyday? [applause] mayor nutter: some very good friends -- jim and frannie mcguire. the commitment and dedication of them and the entire mcguire family, i believe the court of which are here today, because it is a pretty big family. they give so much to so many. please recognize them. [applause]
mayor nutter: for the people who have surrounded this campus, our great neighbors and friends, can we please recognize the neighbors who support and embrace this great campus? [applause] mayor nutter: and of course, we cannot have a great university without great students. i love the saint joe university students. congratulations to all of you. thank you for having me here today. i will just share a few thoughts with you and again, to our great president, president gillespie i know that today is your last commencement ceremony here at st. joseph's university. i want to take a moment to thank you for your many years of service in higher education, and
your incredible leadership at st. joseph's university over the last few years. during your tenure, you revise the mission statement and stepped forward with new developments that we can take pride in. you developed a modern campus with the welcome center. more importantly, you champions making higher education more accessible and affordable through scholarship programs and the. i have called on you any number of times coming up in an active purchase event in the meetings that i call with presidents of colleges and universities in philadelphia and in our suburban areas. because of your background and training i asked you, and ask
you, and ask to -- asked you. you served on philadelphia's board of ethics helping to ensure that our government operates with the and transparency. can we please take a moment to thank and recognize father gillespie for his many accomplishments? [applause] mayor nutter: i am so deeply honored, given my history and relationship with the jesuit community to receive this doctorate of public service. i still have to laugh when i say that or think about that. this is my first honorary
degree, and to receive it at st. joseph's university, to receive it from father gillespie, a man who is the vacated his life to bettering the lives of others through education, he is the epitome of what we talk about. let us again recognize father gillespie. [applause] mayor nutter: i also want to recognize that are proposed dr. roslyn. the faculty, our parents, i will come back to you in a second and the students. i also want to commend, and it cannot be easy, people ask me from time to time, you make a lot of speeches, do you still get nervous when you speak? sometimes, yes. like right now. so i want to really, and and ask you to give a huge response and reaction to our student speaker amy, her tremendous speech
today. [applause] mayor nutter: george distinguished graduates, again i want to offer you license there is congratulations, and behalf on a militant have people and growing here in the city of fidelity and -- philadelphia, today is your day. you're helping to make our state, region, our country that better place we wanted to be paid your. you will be intervening to our economy, hopefully all of you have jobs. i look forward to receiving your tax revenues very soon. [laughter] mayor nutter: today you have achieved something great incredible, and i want to congratulate you. to the parents, to the parents. your student, your child your son, your daughter, your niece,
your nephew, whatever your relationship may be, they have published something -- accomplished something great but they did not do it by themselves. the fears, the doubts, the things that they talked with you about. you helped them. every step along the way. used it with them, you stood by them, they had a stroller to leon or cry on, to ask questions. you were there for them. i would ask the graduates to please turn around for a second and give those who are behind you because they have been behind you every step along the way, give your parents and family members a big roundabout laws -- big round of applause. [applause] mayor nutter: it is slightly
disruptive when i do that. and lastly, to the parents, it is my hope for you that as your young person moves on, and as they come off of campus, it is my hope for you that this might for you be the last time that you have to help them move somewhere. [laughter] mayor nutter: that moving thing is tough. and whether you are the first in your family to attend college he or a legacy student, to our graduates i know you have worked hard to make it to this point in graduation. earlier today and thousand graduate students and night students participated in their graduation. this afternoon, 1020 undergraduates this afternoon what a stunning achievement by all of you. i cannot be more proud.
let me just say for one moment recognizing current events, the events of this week. when we talk about doing more for christ, by doing more for others, we know that we suffered a tremendous tragedy here in our city this past week. to those who lost family members, we mourn for them. they will never be forgotten. to the miracle of 200 people walking off of that train wreck we know what is at work. our fire department, our emergency management, our hospital workers, all of our care workers, they saved lives
on tuesday night. let us recognize the great service. [applause] mayor nutter: until now -- and so now, it is your time. over the last four years you pursued your courses of study with fervent passion but because of the person that you are meant to be all along the way. it is your time to go off into the world, make your way, and achieve even more. my journey to be that man for others started on a similar day like this day, 40 years ago at st. joseph's preparatory high school at 17th and gerard, a proud graduate of the best class out of the