Greetings: Laura Phillips ’80, Chair, Board of Trustees

I am so pleased and excited to be here with you seniors this evening.  You are important people at a important threshold of total seniorness.  You should be extremely proud of your arrival at this moment and I hope you really feel it, embrace it and revel in it.  I sat where you are now 28 years ago and I remember my own emotions well.  Excitement on the arrival at a new, significant plateau and at the same time just a little bit of anxiety as the realization dawned that I was not going to be at Trinity forever.  So too for you, I suspect.

I have no sage advice to deliver tonight, just a couple of observations about how special you are, and why you matter so much to Trinity and to the world.  You see, I have read President McGuire’s opening of school presentations to the freshmen where she quotes liberally from your entrance essays,  in which you poured out your reasons for wanting a Trinity education and your aspirations for using what you learn within these walls to live a richly varied and challenging life.  You are people who have faced challenges in life, who are survivors and who are in the process of transforming your own lives by saying yes each day to furthering your education and seeding the fields of even greater achievements in the future.  You hold the promise of transforming the lives of those you touch in years to come both by deed and example.

You are Trinity women who hark back to history and proud tradition, a tradition that could have died but did not, and one that thankfully will stretch forward long after I am gone.  I am here tonight representing the Board of Trustees and I want to say that you inspire me and other members of the Trinity Board to dream big where we can and to be pragmatic where we have to be so that this institution, this special place, is well situated to live large in its second century and so that it  can continue to be faithful to its students and the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.  Just knowing that is a gift.

Seniors, treasure what you have worked so hard to achieve, what you have been given as gifts from your teachers, your Trinity friends and class colleagues.  Be a conscious gift and a giver to the world and to Trinity.  Congratulations to you all, class of blue.