The Flat Hat is pleased to hear that this May’s commencement speaker will be Robert M. Gates, the current United States secretary of defense and graduate of the Class of 1965.
p. As a leader who has served six presidents, Gates represents the pragmatic and cooperative focus to which all graduates should aspire. His current task — resolving violent conflicts in Iraq and restoring friendly relations abroad — is both monumental and admirable. His words should serve as an engaging discussion for all in attendance.
p. While other universities have attracted star power to the podium — Lance Armstrong and U2’s Bono come to mind — The Flat Hat believes the College made the right choice in selecting a serious and internationally important speaker. While Gates may not offer the laughs or the photo opportunities that major celebrities provide, he brings something far more valuable to the graduation day ceremony: intelligent reflections on the current state of our country.
p. Gates is a serious man in a serious time, and graduates should realize the gravity of the world they are entering. Who better to offer such insight than the man who is engaged daily with the American presidency and countless foreign officials?
p. Gate’s venerable career in public service began at this College, and whoever receives the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for service will have large shoes to fill.
p. Its 1965 recipient will be in attendance, watching attentively from behind the podium.