Thank you, Dean Spears, for that introduction.
I’m very excited for the opportunity to work closely with you this year.
And thank you to the Wrights for all you have done for Dartmouth.
President Kim and the Class of 2013 -- Welcome to the finest college in the world!
Dartmouth is a place of endless opportunities and boundless human potential.
And, Dr. Kim, you are a perfect fit to be our first new president of the new millennium!
Your personal dedication to enhancing global understanding and your commitment to scholarship and service, speak volumes about your ability to preserve and advance Dartmouth as a top place of learning.
It’s fitting that today, we not only welcome Dr. Kim as our new president, but we welcome the Class of 2013 as our new peers.
A week ago today, I returned to campus after spending 5 days leading a Dartmouth Outing Club first-year trip. While hiking on the Appalachian Trail with my 8 tripees from the Class of 2013 and my co-leader from the Class of 2012, I asked their advice about what to say in my inaugural speech. They told me that they always hear people say to them “find your passion” or use this time at Dartmouth “to find yourself.” But they said to me at this moment, as they go through this transition in their lives, they don’t really know what that means.
So, just as I did on my trip, I want to share with you, a few things I’ve learned throughout the past three years, both here in Hanover and everywhere else I’ve been lucky enough to travel. These lessons have helped me realize my passion of pursuing an interdisciplinary career in bi-national health systems.
Developing fluency in Spanish sparked my interest in health care for underserved populations. But I have to tell you when I first arrived at Dartmouth I barely knew a word of Spanish. It was only after I pleaded with my Spanish Two professor to give me a passing grade that I could take, what I thought was a great risk, and spend the winter of my sophomore year on a Language Study Abroad program in Puebla, Mexico -- this decision was an unexpected door that opened a new path for me.
I hope these thoughts will help you get a little bit further down your own path.
First: Take in each day. Dartmouth should not be a stopping point, but a stepping- stone that will take you far and you must take far.
Hold onto your dreams and aspirations, but at the same time learn to welcome the unexpected. We may not know what the future holds, but we must welcome each new opportunity with an open mind.
You’ve arrived on campus with 18 years of history. Okay, President Kim, you may bring a few more! And your life history to this point has shaped who you are right now, but those years should not limit who you will become.
Dartmouth is a new start for President Kim and the Class of 2013. Here, you will become even more accomplished people. But, I also believe with all of my heart that Hanover will benefit from the addition of your knowledge and experience.
And just as we ask you, Dr. Kim, to lead us, we, the students of Dartmouth, must also lead you. We must provide you with an environment full of accountable Dartmouth students, so that you too may grow and develop beyond what you might have previously imagined.
I remember first arriving at Dartmouth after a 26-hour drive from where I grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And I had no idea what to expect.
But after spending three years here, I have learned the importance of expectations -- whether these expectations are for me as an individual, for my peers, or for the many different communities to which we belong. And as we—Dartmouth students, faculty, alumni, administrators and family members—embark together on this journey into a monumental year, my aspiration is that we execute our visions and remember that:
We must expect it of ourselves to be socially responsible citizens.
The Dartmouth community must lead in the area of sustainability and respect for each other and for our earth. Let us continue the Dartmouth tradition of helping to understand and appreciate the value of our society and our resources.
We must expect it of ourselves to develop global sensitivities.
The Dartmouth community must be leaders in developing true global understanding and cooperation. Today, let us forge the relationships that will allow the power of our diverse experiences to fashion the future of our world. President Kim, please share with us your wisdom as we seek to broaden our view of the globe.
We must expect it of ourselves to be solution seekers.
The Dartmouth community must never simply accept the status quo. We must never give up in our quest for new and better ways to build, to engineer, to cure, and to perform. I believe, no matter how difficult the problem, there is always a solution. And President Kim please help us to ensure an environment where we’re able to ask countless questions and pursue answers, no matter how large the task.
And we must expect it of ourselves to adapt.
The Dartmouth community must be open to change.
In fact we must strive for constant evolution; even revolution. From business to engineering to health care and the arts, one thing is certain: that the communities who have the ability to adapt and grow are those who will thrive.
And to the Class of 2013 and President Kim, with your leadership, we imagine a bolder, brighter future where Dartmouth leads the nation in all facets of the college experience.
To all members of the Dartmouth community, I expect that you will find dents in our armor and nuances in our rhetoric that need to be polished, challenged and changed. You’re not only here to hold up the mantle of Dartmouth, but to raise it even higher. Especially to the Class of 2013, including you President Kim, I have every confidence that you will help us all to transform and refine the Dartmouth community and our world.
President Kim and the Class of 2013, on behalf of the Dartmouth student body, I welcome you. We embrace you and encourage you to use us as your resources as you create your own expectations for your time at Dartmouth and beyond.
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