GU Graduate Awards and Hooding Ceremony Speaker

Uploaded by GallaudetVideo on 27.05.2011

President Hurwitz, faculty, graduates,
family and friends,
it is my pleasure to be with you
on this joyous occasion.
Graduates, you can finally stop sipping espresso shots,
downing Red Bulls, and popping stay-awake pills.
You can also stop all-nighters.
You no longer need to finish dissertations,
theses, documentaries, projects, finals, labs,
or tests and whatnot.
Oh, wait a minute.
You actually still do have to do all of that.
You're going to real world, the working world.
You thought you were done.
But once you go to the working world you get paid
to do all of that instead of paying to do all that.
As you sit and await the conferring
of your graduate honors, you might think
that I have sage advice to impart to all of you
from atop the NAD mountain.
what can I say to you today, those who
are graduating with masters and doctorates,
that you do not already know?
As you may remember, the most profound lessons
in life are those that are the most basic.
As the writer Robert Fulghum pointed out,
the most essential advice
was taught to you in kindergarten.
I actually have my own set of ABCs
that I'm going to teach you today.
But before I do, let me just provide you
with some caveats.
Of course, I have caveats.
All lawyers do.
First, don't throw your caps in the air.
People could get hurt
and there's a lawsuit waiting to happen.
I don't know if you just saw the recent TV show
called "What Would You Do?"
In that episode two deaf people went
and applied for a job at a coffee shop.
The intent there was to see how people would react
when the shop owner -- and he wasn't a real shop owner,
he was acting, but he wasn't going to hire
the two deaf people because they were deaf.
To our shock, two human resource specialists
were there and told the shop owner
how he could avoid hiring the deaf people
without getting caught.
Now, I'm a disability rights lawyer.
And I can tell you this happens all the time.
Does this disgusting fact of life
mean we should give up?
Do we just complain to one another
about how unfair life is?
Do we just wallow in our frustrations?
Let me give you my two cents,
even though we no longer care much about what two cents is.
As long as there have been people on earth,
life has been unfair.
As long as life has been unfair,
people have complained.
And as long as people have complained,
we have been frustrated.
The annals of history are full of remarkable people
who have changed the world.
And those stories are not about complainers.
They don't talk about people who are wallowing
in frustration and who are doing nothing.
Instead, the long list of remarkable people
that you'll hear about or read about are known
for changing attitudes, breaking barriers,
changing cultures, and defying doubters.
You are a new generation of leaders
destined to achieve notable feats.
The annals of history await
your accomplishments!
Here are some crucially important tips
as you enter the workforce.
First, show up on time.
Second, dress appropriately.
Make sure all your buttons and zippers are all closed.
Be nice to the boss.
Even if he's not nice to you.
And let's take it up a notch higher.
For every opportunity that comes your way,
do your research and find out everything you need to know.
Opportunities do not always go to those
who seem to be the best qualified.
They go to those who are the most prepared.
Each you will need to be at your most savvy
and most prepared.
You may have to work harder than anyone else.
You may have to endure more challenges
than anyone else.
But in the end it doesn't matter how unfair it is.
The point is you can succeed.
It's just a matter of perseverance,
persistence and persuasion.
And now in conclusion, let me leave you with
my version of the ABCs.
Academics is now what you leave behind.
Barriers, you will face them.
Challenges, you will experience.
Determined, you will need to be.
Elevate constantly, accept no limits.
Focus intensely to be the best.
Gallaudet, you will always have in your hearts.
Honor your alma mater, your family and friends.
Isolated, you need not be.
Join the NAD.
and be part of the community.
Know yourself and find your destiny.
Love what you do.
Make your mark for the world to see.
No carbon footprints -- be green.
Out-of-the-box thinking
Pioneer and blaze new paths.
Quest for knowledge.
Read everything.
Share your wealth.
Travel the world.
Unite rather than divide.
Vote, early and often.
Work hard at your chosen career.
XOXO's, don't forget your loved ones.
You graduate today, and move on to
Zealously living your life.
Now go forth and recite your ABCs.
Congratulations, graduates.