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Upcoming Commencement Dates

  • June 10, 2018
  • June 9, 2019
  • June 14, 2020
  • June 13, 2021
  • June 12, 2022

Joel Malkin, Valedictorian

Joel MalkinJune 9, 2013

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

I'm like Maura, I am a 22 year old who doesn't think he can give advice this morning and I'd like to take this opportunity to do nothing but honor those who enabled us to graduate today. We graduates are all accomplished individuals. We worked to matriculate and to earn a diploma. Sure, Dartmouth can feel like a crucible; but what's equally significant for this moment is the effort and the hard work that others have expended on our behalf. We are here because others enabled us. Graduates, there are plenty of ceremonies and rituals commemorating our success this weekend. So please join me now in taking time to thank those who equipped us and made our success a possibility.

To the faculty—we as a class thank you for your time. Dartmouth undergraduates are characteristically 15 minutes late for everything - most of the time that meant your 10A or 9L. We undergrads didn't always commit to timeliness but your commitment to undergraduate education is a hallmark of the Dartmouth community. Thank you for meeting us outside of class to discuss a question or provide clarification about an idea. Thank you for choosing to devote so much of your time to teaching us individually and personally.

To the administration—we as a class thank you for your commitment to running the whole show. It's not easy; the politics involved are complex, and sometimes, I'm sure it feels like you're making a career out of delicately stepping on toes. But even if your job is never without its critics, we appreciate your dedication to this community. Thank you for leading this college. Thank you for leading our college.

To the employees of Dartmouth, the unsung heroes—departmental assistants, DDS staff members, coaches, residential custodians, safety and security and so many others — thank you for what you do to make life here at Dartmouth possible. I'm sure that most of us do not fully appreciate the amount of work you put in to keep this show running. Thank you for serving us.

To the alumni—thank you for your continuing support of this college. Thank you for giving us, the Class of 2013, this cherished community in the wilderness. To the Classes of 2010, 2011, and 2012 – thank you for welcoming us to Hanover four years ago, and thank you for mentoring us when we were underclassmen.

Finally, to our parents, guardians, and family members—I can't adequately tell you all that you mean to this community of graduates. Thank you for your support, your concern, and your love. We would not be the men and women that we are today if it weren't for you. You are our foundation.

Dartmouth is a place of rigorous academic work, and it is a source of invaluable social connection but, in my mind, what is most meaningful is Dartmouth's status as a community of friends. Granted, we don't always agree, we come into conflict and fail each other in many ways because we are ultimately human. But we remain loyal even when it is not the easy decision - loyal to each other, to this institution, to this community, to this wonderful place that we were able to call home for four short years. The opportunities, the experiences, and the fond memories that Dear Old Dartmouth has given us are a great blessing. For that, we as a class are grateful to all of you.

Thank you, Semper Fidelis, and God bless America.

Last Updated: 6/12/13