Wright, Bode greet '12s at Convocation

by Drew Joseph | 9/24/08 2:30am

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Student Body President Molly Bode '09 encourages freshman to find and pursue their passions over the next four years at Dartmouth.
by Sam McIntire / The Dartmouth

Wright largely avoided speaking about his upcoming retirement in June 2009, but altered his traditional closing remarks -- "Now we turn enthusiastically to our task. We have work to do, you and I -- and it is time to begin" -- adding: "You have more time to take on your assignment than I have for completing mine, so forgive my impatience. But also recognize my pride in being in your good company in the good work of this good place."

In his speech, Wright highlighted leadership qualities, commenting on the importance of the ability to adjust to circumstances and the willingness to sometimes follow, rather than control. He added that talented leaders acknowledge others' ideas and compromise.

"Leadership will flow to those who can best adapt to change," he said. "Leaders do not categorically avoid the slippery slopes of life. They learn to navigate the slippery slopes of life."

Wright further stated that a liberal arts education offers students an ideal opportunity to build leadership skills.

"No one who aspires to lead can focus too narrowly," Wright said. "The liberal arts challenge custom and comfort. What you will learn here is that learning never ends."

Bode's address emphasized the importance of pursuing one's passions while at Dartmouth and "scheduling priorities, not prioritizing schedules."

"The people at this school are my passion," Bode said. "They make me come alive. You will find your own reason to come alive. Dive into your passion. It's okay to face challenges and even fail."

Similarly, Clark encouraged students to explore their talents, claiming that once they discover their talent, they can have a large impact on the world. To find their talents, Clark encouraged students to listen to their inner voice and reflect on what types of classes and activities they once enjoyed.

"College is your time," Clark said in an interview with The Dartmouth following the ceremony. "You've gotten where you've gotten because you've demonstrated a certain degree of talent. Now it's time to focus it."