The major graduation weekend recedes into history with many thousands of new products.
I did my part in the process. I went to three Stanford graduations, first at the med school, second at the business school, and then Sunday at the undergraduate program . Ken Burns gave the address. The med and law school events were prompted by newly DR. Rich Joseph who has been my privilege to mentor for his days here at Stanford. I have sought to buy shares in his future. It is brilliant. He and his lovely lady companion are already in Boston and embarked on his first commencement job as a resident in internal medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, one of our temples, where my father studied 100 years ago. I cheered as he walked across the stage twice to receive his M.D. and his MBA diplomas.
But I didn't just attend three Stanford events. I also watched the tape of Steven Spielberg's address to the Harvard 2016 graduates. I loved it that he wore running shoes on the podium. He referred repeatedly to his seven children and their spouting. He also highlighted his 99-year-old father who was in attendance and gave Steve a movie camera at an early moment. I recall John Gardner, my dear friend, who in his address at the 100th anniversary of Stanford's founding noted his hundred year old mother in the audience. Times are changing. More are daring.
Spielberg ended his talk to the assembly as in ET, "go home".
Although thousands of platitudes were offered on this weekend I was mostly affected by our Pres. Barack Obama's address to the graduates at Howard University, all 45 minutes of it. Like all the others it was both retrospective and perspective. Where have we been? where are we going? He is a spectacular gospel speaker, his words resonated. Throughout these festivities I kept recalling the observation of my friend Norman Cousins when he said "nobody is smart enough to be a pessimist."
I truly hope that this current crop of graduates exhibits optimism and hope.
Barack ended his talk with "yes, we can!"
So tonight I go to sleep with the strains of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance echoing in my brain. I have high hopes.
GO GET'EM graduates!