Hello parents and welcome to Commencement. For those of you who haven’t been here since the laser light show at Colonial Inauguration the time has come for you to see where the rest of your $100,000 went. Okay, I know it’s been a little more than $100,000, but here at GW we get to take logic instead of math. What did I get out of logic to make up for the loss of the ability to perform simple mathematical equations? I understand that if Socrates is a man and all men are mortals then all mortals are Socrates. Or something like that. Anyway, let’s take a moment to see what your $100,000 has gotten you.
If you son or daughter is graduating from the Elliott School they’ve earned a degree in international affairs. They’re now prepared for a career with the State Department, provided they can keep track of their laptops. Oops, sorry Madeline.
Some of our graduates are business majors. What are those kids prepared for? Well as long as they work in groups of three they should be fine. They can conduct research in groups of three, they can write papers in groups of three, and they can run imaginary companies operating imaginary third-world sweatshops in groups of three. I think they might be receiving their diplomas in groups of three.
I will soon be a graduate of the Columbian School of Arts and Sciences were I’ve learned about, umm, art and science. Notice it’s not the Columbian School of Arts and Math. Me, I’m getting a BA in English. Why English? Because failing English is unpossible. Don’t worry, I’m going to grad school to prepare for a career. Hey Faye, is he saying that there isn’t a future in post-Marxist feminism in Juvenalian satire?
Now let’s talk Commencement. We’ll be down on the Ellipse and the great thing about the Ellipse is it’s only a stone’s throw from the president. Not that the Secret Service should get the impression that I would want to throw a stone at the president. The stone I’m talking is a hypothetical stone. This is that logic stuff I was talking about before. Socrates is a man, all men can hypothetically throw stones at the president, therefore Socrates, not me, can throw a stone at the president.
I hope you folks from out of town appreciate the Ellipse. It almost didn’t happen. Fortunately for us the brochure promised: You will graduate on the Ellipse. Mr. Simpson this is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the film, The Never Ending Story.
On the Ellipse you’ll see a lot of University pomp and circumstance. There’ll be University Marshal Jill Kasle carrying around a large metal club or University mace. Being a hypothetical stone’s throw away from Bill with a dozen Secret Service snipers on the surrounding rooftops might be enough to make some people feel safe but what makes me really feel secure is the thought of Kasle with that mace.
On stage you might see David Burt, our new Student Association President. I say might because our last SA president had a little trouble making the ceremony a year ago. Well, he wasn’t our last SA president, I guess that was Caity Leu. See we had a little situation back in November. But a simple impeachment took care of that.
If Dave doesn’t make it he’ll answer to President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. You don’t want to mess with SJT. There’s a lot of concrete being poured around campus these days.
Some of you reading this might be grandparents. Without you we wouldn’t be here to graduate and our parents wouldn’t be here to give us a hard time. Oh, and thanks for taking care of Nazism. Good call. XO XO XO.
Moms, Dads, thanks for picking up the tab. We’ll make sure that when the time comes you end up in the good home. That’s not bad for $100,000.