MAILED: May 21, 1998|
EDITOR'S NOTE: DO NOT USE UNTIL SATURDAY, MAY 23, 1998
EAU CLAIRE -- Spring graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire are extraordinarily privileged and prepared to direct the affairs of the world - a world where business as usual is no longer possible, Carl Haywood said during his "Charge to the Class" Saturday.
"You are bigger, stronger, better prepared, better educated, than any group preceding you," Haywood told the 932 candidates for bachelor's and master's degrees during commencement ceremonies in Zorn Arena. Haywood, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, noted that just 1 percent of the people of the world have educational experiences equal to UW-Eau Claire graduates.
War, religion, political alliances, and economics and economic determinism are among the levers used by past generations to try to move the world, he said. But with nuclear power, people killing others in the name of religion, and the failure of economic determinism to find a way to reach beyond human greed, those levers are no longer effective, Haywood said.
"You obviously cannot abandon politics, religion or economic structures, but you can return them to the place of service, for you have the next great lever - education," Haywood said. "You have learned how to learn, and the collected knowledge of all time is available to you as it has never been available to any group.
"You know the lessons of the past; you know the limitations of warfare and other failed levers. Surely you can see the destructiveness that comes from greed, from unequal distribution of wealth, from neglect of mother earth ... and you know that these things affect every person and hope and every dream in this building."
The exciting thing, Haywood said, is that the graduates can help change those things that are wrong. "The critical thing is to choose the place to stand, for it is that which determines what worlds you will move," he said, stressing that no one person can fix every problem.
Along the way, he said, do not pass up the opportunity to do good to others. And continue to learn and be involved in your world, he said.
"Think about your own life; think about what is valuable in the long run," Haywood said. "Think about things bigger than yourself.
"And finally, try to understand that you move and build and create and change things every day in every small action, like Jacob Marley who wore the chains he forged during each day of his life. Do not be discouraged, for changes come ever so slowly. You have all the tools. You have a place to stand. You have choices."
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: May 21, 1998