Remarks to 2018 Graduates of Arrupe College
Good afternoon. Welcome to the 2ndcommencement of Arrupe College at Loyola University Chicago!
Buenas tardes, y bienvenidos a todos los miembros de sus familias y a todos sus amigos que han venido para participar en nuestra celebración! Compartimos su alegría y su orgullo al contemplar a estos estudiantes tan trabajadores que representan nuestros nuevos graduados. Gracias por estar aquí con nosotros.
I want to extend a very special welcome to our students’ families, and to all their friends, who have come together today to celebrate with us. We share your joy and pride over the achievements of these hardworking students-- our new Arrupe College/ Loyola University graduates. Thank you for being here with us, and for all the support you have shown to these graduates along the way.
Graduates – that has a great sound to it!
Let us be clear…Today is all about you. We are here to celebrate you, our second class of graduates from Arrupe College. I am honored to join your families and friends and fellow Loyolans, along with Father Katsouros and the dedicated faculty and staff in Arrupe College, in congratulating you on achieving this special milestone. You have worked hard and sacrificed much along the way to arrive at this extraordinary moment. Celebrate it, embrace it – you have earned it.
You are just the second graduating class from Arrupe. You are a uniquely gifted and motivated group. You made the bold decision to apply to Arrupe College and may have been encouraged to do so by your teachers, counselors, family, and friends. Maybe, some of you were concerned that you would not get into Arrupe. Maybe some of you, until recently, thought that college and a college degree would never be part of your life.
However, look at you now! Not only did you get in, but today, you graduate.
Underneath your questions, in the face of all the challenges, you possessed the drive and you certainly had the dreams. You knew deep down that the Arrupe College program would be the key to unlocking those dreams and setting your path toward achieving them. Arrupe is a place that holds you close and gives you a space to learn, to grow and to challenge yourselves in new and exciting ways.
Within your soul, you have a voice that is distinct, tenacious, and important. I hope that your experiences at Arrupe and Loyola have helped you learn to use that voice, as you go forth and set the world on fire in your own unique way. You, the Class of 2018 of Arrupe College at Loyola University Chicago, embody the spirit of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit mission that continues to shape lives nearly 500 years after it founding.
Let us take a moment today to appreciate what you have already done, what you have already achieved, what you have come to mean to each other and to the wider community. A number of you have been inducted into the Arrupe College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national academic honor society for two-year colleges. Many of you have already been admitted to four-year colleges. You have worked on service projects in communities around Chicago. You have supported, encouraged, and challenged each other. You have inspired all of us. The successes we celebrate today will continue to inspire those who follow in your footsteps.
As you think about your future, I ask you to think deeply, discern the path that draws you, that compels you, that leads you to the service of others. Find what moves you.
Fr. Pedro Arrupe, from whom our college takes its name, stated it so beautifully. He said:
“What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what gets you out of bed in the mornings, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”
Fall in love with your life’s work and with what that work can do for others. As you transition from being an Arrupe College student to being a Loyola University graduate, remember that you, like all of us, have a tremendous opportunity— I dare say, a responsibility--to do something extraordinary with all you have received. Wherever your life’s journey takes you, have the courage to continue reaching deep within yourself. Take risks even if it is uncomfortable. Confront ambiguity and turn that unknown into clarity of purpose. Tackle the issues that are so difficult and divisive in our world today. Our Jesuit, Catholic mission, now a part of you, is rooted in a commitment to prepare you for an extraordinary life. I challenge you to make the world a better place by being of service to it and to each other, working to overcome the geographical and social boundaries that surround us, taking up the challenge of demanding work and leadership that will transform our neighborhoods, our communities and our world.
Graduates: we are all so very proud of you. We know that you will continue to be amazing. I would like to offer one final gesture of respect and gratitude…. To the Arrupe College at Loyola University Chicago class of 2018, I tip my hat to you.