"The point is, we all came to Binghamton University knowing little of what we would become or what we would accomplish. But we will leave knowing who we are: and that is a gift to be treasured and remembered.
Maybe "average" is the new exceptional.
We live in a culture that emphasizes wealth, power and achievement. We're taught by society that we should strive for fame, fortune and the American dream. I am sorry to say: "average" will never be fame, or fortune or the American dream.
"Average" is something much more.
"Average" is the parent who drives their son or daughter to school everyday so that their child will have a better life than the one they had. "Average" is the professor who helps you understand that knowing who you are and owning your own sense of identity will not only make you a stronger individual here, but more importantly, in life...
"Average" is knowing that you don't receive respect; you earn it.
And you aren't given opportunity; you fight for it.
And if anyone tries to tell you different; they're lying.
"Average" is amazing...
Today represents the beginning for all of us. And I encourage you, no, I implore you to say "Thank You." Thank your friends, your professors, your family, even thank your little sisters. And then celebrate the beginning, together.
As we look ahead into the future, do not forget the lessons of the past...
In the immortal words of Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas: Tonight's gonna be a good night!"
... Anthony Corvino