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>> President Kim: That's hard work!
[Pause] Esteemed guests, members of our Dartmouth family and,
of course, women and men of our undergraduate
and graduate classes of the great Class of 2012:
warm greetings to you.
[ Applause ]
>> President Kim: Let me begin
by thanking President Emeritus Jim Wright.
Jim, I'm grateful for your steadfast support,
and I look forward to joining you--
[ Applause ]
>> President Kim: I look forward to joining you
in the ultimate Dartmouth fraternity, former members
of the Wheelock Succession.
I would also like to thank former Chairman of the Board
of Trustees Ed Haldeman.
Ed, I accepted this presidency to great degree based
on the integrity and wisdom you carry with you always.
Thanks also to Steve Mandel current Chair
of the Board of Trustees.
Steve, no one has loved Dartmouth more than you,
and in so many ways you've taken this institution to new heights.
[ Applause ]
>> President Kim: Finally I would
like to thank Provost Carol Folt.
Carol your friendship and wisdom have been invaluable to me
and I ask all of you here, to give her your full support
as she takes the helm of this great institution.
[ Applause ]
>> President Kim: We are here today
to celebrate your accomplishments
and to send you off into the world to do great things.
This wonderful commencement ceremony is a tradition
that connects you with generations
of Dartmouth students past, and generations to come,
and as you all know,
at Dartmouth we do traditions better
than anyone else in the world.
[ Applause ]
>> President Kim: For me, this is a day full of mixed emotions.
Unexpectedly I received a call a couple
of months ago that's changed the course of my life,
and sadly this will be my final commencement as President
of this great institution.
I came here in 2009, expecting to be here
for many commencements, and now I stand here with only 7 minutes
to tell you something that might be helpful while you remain
standing in the hot sun.
But instead of trying to teach you a few last lessons,
let me share with you some of the most important lessons
that you have taught me.
From the students, I've learned just how brilliant, creative,
and caring young adults can be.
I've learned about the wonderful ways you support each other.
I've also learned about the flair, X-factor,
and the Dartmouth Seven.
[Cheering] From staff I've learned how resilient
and resourceful the group of dedicated professionals can be
in the face of unprecedented economic challenges.
From the faculty, I've learned about music on the Silk Road
and the role of power of fiction in France during World War II.
Faculty has also taught me that exercise can lead
to increase capacity for learning, that will power is
like a muscle you can build,
and that you can actually change the structure of your brain
through simple, meditative techniques and ultimately,
you can change the way you control both your fear
These are lessons many of us have shared
and how lucky we've been to learn from each other.
But some of the most important lessons for me came
from my interactions with our remarkable Board of Trustees
and since most of you have not benefited from these lessons,
let me share some of them with you.
One Board Member told me if you're a good leader
and you're taking your institution forward,
at least 20% of the people will be unhappy with you.
If everyone's happy, you're not doing your job.
Well, according to this logic and the poles and the D,
I think I hit that target and maybe overshot it just a bit.
[Laughter] The lesson here is profound.
Courage to tackle the most difficult problems and venture
into uncharted territory is critical for any institution
and it's also critical for you.
In so many institutions,
fear and mediocrity track along the same well-worn paths.
Avoid those paths at all cost.
Another Board Member to me that on his worst days,
he'd go to bed at night cursing himself,
wondering if he could do anything right.
And invariably, the next morning he would get up,
look in the mirror and say to himself,
"Good morning handsome."
If you are courageous as a leader, you will make mistakes,
and you will face the wrath of unhappy constituents.
Moreover, all too often, you'll find it difficult
to get reliable information from, either positive
or negative, from your coworkers.
In your worst moments you will have to find ways
to pick yourself up and get back in the game.
This is not some frivolous admonition to "love yourself."
Remember what Spinoza taught us;
"All things excellent are difficult and rare."
When you set out to accomplish extraordinary things,
you will have awful days when you don't even want
to wake up in the morning.
I'm telling you now, get out of bed, look in the mirror,
have your own good morning handsome moment and get
on with the business of changing the world.
The last great lesson I learned was at a recent meeting
of the Board of Trustees.
We, in the administration talked at great length
and with great excitement about taking Dartmouth forward
in the areas of scholarship engagement and pedagogy.
And upon hearing this one of our Trustees said, "Pedagogy?
You do that where I come from, you go straight to jail."
[Laughter] We understood, don't be too precious, be clear.
Say what you mean and try to speak
so that you can be understood by any person of good will.
Please know that you have all received one
of the greatest educations available to human kind.
So despite your ability to dive into the esoteric,
you now have an enormous responsibility
to make yourself understandable to the diverse
and interconnected world into which you're graduating.
That will take work.
Don't hide behind your lead education.
Make it work for you and especially,
make it work for others.
These are important lessons that I'll take
with me to the World Bank.
I find myself leaving one great New Hampshire institution
for another founded in this very State in 1944,
less than 100 miles from here in Bretton Woods.
It's an extraordinary institution.
The premier organization in the world concerned
with economic development and poverty alleviation.
With 188 Member States, employees representing more
than 160 nationalities,
the World Bank is among the most global of global institutions.
Every day when I walk into the front door of the World Bank,
I'll be able to look up and see inscribed on the wall,
these words; "Our dream is a world free of poverty."
Wow! How fortunate to be an employee of an institution
where every day you get to work with 188 Countries
and countless partners in the private sector and civil society
to increase prosperity and lift people out of poverty.
The World Bank is 100 committed souls working in Afghanistan
and many 100s more working in the most fragile
and conflict driven states.
World Bank employees help countries
to build electrical grids, roads, educational
and healthcare systems and they do so in some
of the most difficult conditions you can imagine.
In meeting many World Bank staff over the last few months,
I've been inspired to learn that to a person,
they're deeply committed to the goal of spurring economic growth
and eradicating poverty.
So, I find myself turning my gaze
from the Dartmouth Greek system, to the actual Greek system.
[Laughter] I'll make no comments on which
of these two systems worries me more.
[Laughter] I've quoted John Sloan Dickey to you many times,
"The worlds troubles are your troubles."
And there's nothing wrong with the world
that better human beings cannot fix.
Indeed those words were important for me both
in accepting this job and in considering this new call
to service, but I may have gone overboard.
It seems now that every last one
of the world's troubles has now become my troubles,
but that's what Dartmouth people do.
We come to the Hanover plain with big dreams.
We soak in the tradition, the wisdom,
the embrace of the community.
We become better human beings and when called to service
by our leaders, we put our muscles and our brains
into tackling the world's troubles.
This great community, the rigger and excellence
of this great community has made each
of you a better human being.
Prepare to tackle the world's troubles.
It has made me too, a better human being
and for that I thank you.
I thank each and every one of you.
On my last commencement address I'd like to end with one
of my favorite quotes from President Ernest Martin Hopkins,
who on his last day as President of Dartmouth said,
"I have become impressed more and more with the sweetness
that attached to the relationship between one
and another which constituted this great family
which we call Dartmouth."
The sweetness of Dartmouth
in my inaugural address three years ago,
I tried to describe what that meant to me.
"The sense of color and proportion as you stand
in the center of the green, taking in Dartmouth row."
I said, "The men and women
who for almost two-and-a-half centuries have loved this place;
the collegiality among the faculty, and the friendships--
the lifelong friendships."
Today the sweetness of this place means even more to me.
As you depart this beautiful college on the hill,
drink in that sweetness one more time
and gently hold it in your heart.
It will give you courage and it will sustain you
for the rest of your days.
As President Dickey said so beautifully at the end
of each his commencement addresses,
"And now the word is 'so long'
because in the Dartmouth fellowship,
there is no parting."
Thank you and congratulations.
[ Applause ]