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Upcoming Commencement Dates

  • June 9, 2019
  • June 14, 2020
  • June 13, 2021
  • June 12, 2022

Commencement Speeches & Citations

Valedictory to the College

By Tomi J. Jun '08

Mr. President, members of the board of trustees, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen:

There is one person I have to thank for bringing me here today. Mom, you sacrificed so much for me, and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you. Thank you, and I love you.

In the fall of 2006, a new class – the class of 2010 – began its journey through Dartmouth. I was a junior at the time, and if you had asked me then where I saw myself in 2010, I would definitely not have said "graduating with the '10s". But here I am, an '08 among '10s. It seems I took the long way around Dartmouth, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

When I left, in 2007, the 10s were freshmen finding their footing. When I came back, you were the pillars of this community. I am incredibly thankful for all of the warmth and kindness so many of you have extended to me since my return. I am thankful for friendships formed and friendships renewed. I am humbled by your talents and by the awesomeness of your achievements. It has been my honor to share this year with you.

So, having left for the Singapore military when you were freshmen, and having come back with you as seniors, I think I can say a thing or two about change.

When I made that transition from Dartmouth to the military, Dartmouth was a touchstone that I kept coming back to. Throughout basic training I thought to myself, "I'm a Dartmouth student. I can do this." "I am a Dartmouth student. I can do this." Most of the time I wasn't doing things that Dartmouth had prepared me for directly. I never took a trench-digging or boot-shining or rifle-cleaning PE course here. But I believed in the depth and the quality of my Dartmouth experience, and that pushed me to excel.

After basic training, I was fortunate enough to be selected for officer training, and that changed the course of my military experience entirely. It was a whole other type of education. But it meant a lot to me, and it's something that I go back to frequently.

And that's what it's about, I think. As we go through life we accumulate these experiences that mean something to us and that we can look back upon for strength. Little by little, we bend the arcs of our lives in the direction of the people who we aspire to be. Change is a given. The real challenge is how we respond to it.

We are Dartmouth students. We can do this.

Thank you.


Last Updated: 3/7/16