University of Notre Dame’s Commencement Ceremony
Congratulations to the graduates of 2013! Yesterday I addressed the graduates of the University of Notre Dame’s Commencement Ceremony and received an honorary degree. I would like to share a copy of my speech with you.
Here is an excerpt:
Thank you, Notre Dame, for the joy of your company, the gracious invitation, the warm welcome, and the high honor of this degree.
It was so obvious I almost missed it . . .
See, ever since, almost a year ago, Father Jenkins, with characteristic thoughtfulness, invited me to deliver this commencement address, I’ve been mulling over just what to say to you, class of 2013.
Only Friday a week ago I still had not yet completed this talk, and I got on the train in New York City to travel to D.C. In Philadelphia, a distinguished looking man boarded the train and sat next to me.
He turned out to be a fanatical, in-your-face, obnoxious Notre Dame alumnus! You ever met one? Nice to meet you! Now I guess I am proudly one, after the privilege of this honorary degree which I so appreciate and cherish! He begins to speak with obviously radiant pride and gratitude about Notre Dame, telling me his faithful Jewish parents wanted him to attend a Catholic college – - because, in their words. “The Church founded the universities, and educate better than anybody else” – - and reporting to me that, even as a faithful Jew, he considers his four years here at this Catholic university a gift beyond measure. When I told him I’d be here for graduation, he beamed.
Click here to read the full text.