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First of all I want to thank the students faculty family friends and other distinguished guestsfor the honor to address you here todayI would like to borrow a quote from 20th century poet and writer E E Cummings as mytheme He wrote It takes courage to grow up to be who you really areCummings uses the word courage when he speaks of what is needed to truly be who you areinside The etymology of the word courage is that it comes from the Latin cor meaning heart That is why we might hear a phrase like He or she didnt have the heart to make it up theRegardless of what things this life throws our way and it will throw things our way in theyears to come that we dont want or need or through human stupidity well throw them atourselves regardless may we never give up may we never lose heartAfter all -- were the class of 2000 Thats easy to say with pride but a fair question might be what really lies within this class ofThey say the year 2000 is the dawn of a new age of mankind My question is --- what will weas the class of 2000 truly accomplish with our lives If we have the courage to grow up to bewho we really are what will that be
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