||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
UW-Eau Claire Alumna Delivers|
MAILED: Aug. 7, 1999|
A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumna today urged the university's summer graduates to strive to retain throughout their lives the intellectual curiosity that prompted them to obtain a higher education.
In her "Charge to the Class," read by Dr. Cynthia Gray-Mash during Saturday's commencement address, Elizabeth Jones Herlihy said the 192 graduates must keep up with the rapid expansion of human knowledge through continuing education.
"And we must find within ourselves the flexibility and open-mindedness to consider new ideas and attitudes, along with tolerance and respect for those who offer them," Herlihy wrote in her speech.
Herlihy, a professor of English at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Ariz., wrote the "Charge to the Class" for the summer commencement. But she was unable to deliver her remarks and asked that Gray-Mash, an assistant professor in the department of Foundations of Education, read her speech, titled "Through the Arch." Herlihy and Gray-Mash met when Gray-Mash and Chancellor Donald Mash visited with Herlihy while in Arizona earlier this year.
Herlihy's speech reminds graduates that they are at a pivotal point in their lives. "You are indeed a part of all that you have met, prepared by all your experience to date personal as well as academic but eager to venture through that arch to the untraveled world beyond, which will change forever and forever as you move," Herlihy writes.
In her speech, Herlihy encouraged the graduates to hold on to their imaginations as they embark on their journey into a world that offers seemingly unlimited opportunities in all areas of human endeavor.
"We must not yield up through age or time the imagination that has been nurtured in us since childhood by the arts in general and literature in particular, for it is imagination which permits us not merely to absorb the contributions of others but to be ourselves creative," she wrote.
In ending her "Charge to the Class," Herlihy quotes Tennyson's concluding line from "Ulysses": "To strive ... to seek ... to find ... and not to yield."
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Aug. 9, 1999