Editor’s note: This abode was delivered to the Chic of 2025 by Nancy Ries, professor of anthropology and accord and conflict studies, during the anniversary Founders’ Day Convocation, captivated on Aug. 25, 2021.
Colgate Chic of 2025, you’re HERE! My affection overflows seeing you all in this tent. I feel afraid and beholden that you are here, beholden to attestant your alacrity to seek college learning, to accomplish yourself to actuality at Colgate together. I am above beholden to and bluntly in awe of our campus leaders and the hundreds of staff, faculty, students, alumni and association associates who accept formed abnormally adamantine and creatively so that it accessible for us all to be actuality in person.
I am additionally afraid and beholden that it’s not cloudburst rain. It’s a bit warm, yes, but we are not actuality lashed by the record-setting rains that deluged us aftermost anniversary and the grass is not clammy and addled beneath our feet. With the ablaze sunshine of the able brace canicule you accept been able to see aloof how alluringly admirable it is in this baby valley. Let us abeyance for a additional with that in mind, to admit that Colgate University is anchored on the aboriginal homelands of the Oneida Indian people, and to action account for their continued and affiliated attendance in this place.
Colgate holds this ritual every year on this day, to mark the bookish alpha of the bookish year. Normally we accumulate in the chapel, up the hill. It is austere and acceptable there but additionally hot there aback it’s so balmy out. So because of COVID, and because you are an abnormally ample class, we get to be bottomward actuality in about air-conditioned air for this momentous convocation. For Colgate adroitness who appear assemblage every year, it feels altered sitting beneath this covering for this ritual, but the actuality that we are HAVING this ritual feels aloof glorious.
I appetite to alpha my animadversion with a simple question: WHY ARE YOU HERE at Colgate? Why are you actuality at university? Why accept you (all 900 of you) performed all the assignment you’ve had to do to be actuality at this able school? With all that’s been activity on with the coronavirus, with all the complexities of abyssal your activity choices during your inferior and chief years of aerial school, what brings you to THIS path, this affectionate of place, to this academy of college learning? Sure there are ancestors expectations, and all of the amusing burden to get schooling. But what IS such ancestry absolutely FOR?
Despite all that is abnormal this year, you appear actuality as adolescent bodies with all the energy, urgency, acuity, talents, and capacities that you are accessible to use to booty your aisle into the future, YOUR future. But why is a university a acceptable starting point for such a path?
A few years ago, I asked a accumulation of acceptance in my first-year academy this aforementioned question, phrased a bit differently. I asked them to address anonymously on basis cards their answers to the catechism “what is a university?” It seems like a simple catechism with a simple answer.
All 18 of my acceptance in that FSEM answered in almost the aforementioned way, and I adumbrate that is what you ability say as well: My acceptance wrote things like this: “A college or university is a abode for adolescent bodies like me to be guided on my aisle to adulthood; it’s a abode for me to “find myself” and accomplish accompany and accomplish the alteration into actuality a complete adult. It’s a abode for me to get acknowledgment to the added apple and amount out my approaching career.”
In added words what they were adage was they perceived the university as a affectionate of apartment for their advance from adolescence to adulthood.
The bendability of their animadversion absolutely addled me. Their acumen of this place — of all universities in the world — and my own acumen of it was rather different. As a adroitness affiliate at Colgate for 30 years I accept had the admirable advantage of “sheltering” and allegorical hundreds of students, and it is a joy above joys to do that and to watch acceptance like you curl in and above Colgate.
Yet best advisers apperceive a altered aspect of bookish systems. For abounding of us, these are places for the assembly and addition of knowledge. We acquaintance this university as a bulge aural all-around networks for the abundantly collaborative assembly of knowledge, of art, of ideas. A armpit for the bearing of critique, for the assuming of atypical questions, and for imagination, innovation, possibility, design, and application. We acquaintance Colgate from the angle of our disciplines, anchored as they are in huge all-around networks of associate review, citation, and accountability, ability assembly systems in our fields.
I use the byword ability assembly rather than ability accretion absolutely advisedly and with able intent. Our own scholarship is — in these systems — utterly affiliated to our pedagogy, and you as acceptance will become allotment of the scholarship itself.
At Colgate, whatever your fields of focus, you will acquisition yourself with countless opportunities to aftermath absolute knowledge: through assay papers, artistic or analytic essays, beginning design, works of ball or amphitheater or blur or poetry, or in community-based projects aural or beyond — sometimes able-bodied beyond — the Colgate campus. Some of you will advertisement your assignment as co-authors of peer-reviewed account articles, or you will accomplish it about and professionally.
Whether they are medievalists or computer scientists, anthropologists, abstract specialists, or geochemists; political theorists, art historians, or ecology scientists, your adroitness advisers will focus their energies on teaching you how to aftermath well-constructed, discipline-appropriate, envelope-pushing ability and compassionate of our apple and artistic altar to reflect on it.
With these faculty — talented, accomplished, productive, generally acclaimed advisers of integrity — you can abstraction a HUGE arrangement of topics. COVID will not get in the way or not too much. You may, if you ambition to, while you’re here, abstraction bowl tectonics, allusive politics, building studies. Neurophysiology. Vulcanology. Virology. Probability, printmaking, GIS, burghal studies. Disability. Francophone literature. New media. Black feminism. Calculus. LGBTQ histories. The Anthropocene. Ritual and the sacred. Forced migration. Genome sequencing. Japanese tea culture. Public economics. Ecology justice. Chinese and Arabic. Greek, Hebrew, German, Spanish, or Russian. Cultural studies. Pandemic histories. Movements for aboriginal rights. Stagecraft and acting. And so abundant more. A university is a abode for adolescent bodies to apartment as they become adults, but it is a apartment congenital of data, analysis, methodology, scrutiny, practice, technique, and discipline, alert calm by the accuracy and candor of scholarship.
Not all disciplines allege of “methodology” in the aforementioned ways, but it’s acute to accept that well-designed, tested, and absolute accoutrement and methods angle at the affection of the assembly of knowledge, science, and art. In accustomed science courses you may apprentice to use breeze cytometry and confocal microscopy. You could apprentice about how to use optically angry brilliance dating or an ion chromatograph. (As my acreage uses mainly ethnography, it’s adamantine for me alike to accent those names or butt their functions. But one of my colleagues ability advise you how to bang a debris can on the cloister to accept the force of volcanoes — and the exploding debris can I DO understand). In abounding courses you can apprentice how to use analytical abstracts assay systems with names like NVivo, MaxQDA, and SPSS, as able-bodied as historiography, cerebral mapping, address analysis, or alike sidewalk assay (it’s a thing). In rhetoric, language, and abstract courses you may apprentice new methods of book mapping and anapestic analysis, how to almanac and assay accent accent and gesture, the ancestry of arcane tradition, colonial address systems and decoloniality. Elsewhere, you may apprentice bookish techniques for alive in athenaeum for actual or arcane research. You ability assignment with elders in the bounded association to accept the challenges of aging, with bounded admiral to analyze sustainability goals, policies, and practices, or with bounded museums to accept the history of the anti-slavery abolishment movement at already of its centers, 20 afar from Colgate.
You will address lots and lots of papers — hopefully with affluence of what we alarm “scaffolding,” step-by-step abstruse and bibliographic training to ensure you advance the abilities and accoutrement to aftermath what is required. You will amount out lots of circuitous things and accept abounding eureka moments aback article arduous assuredly yields its secrets.
You will accept hundreds of opportunities to try out assorted methods of cerebration and analytic and ascent a critique. You will be amidst by artists and creators. You will acknowledge to the adroitness about you and advance and actualize your own worlds of art and movement and knowledge. Conceivably this is the best important thing: you will acknowledgment your instructors’ calls for meticulousness, focus, dedication, collaboration, and integrity.
In all of this work, you will advance added absolutely the added you await on anniversary other, by listening, talking, administration your struggles with adamantine topics, absorption and adversity through difficult assignment together. You will apprehend and anticipate and agreement and address until you are accessible as seniors to assemble your actual own theses, a allotment of culminative scholarship or art.
Through all of this you will admit that accuracy is multiplex, that ability changes all the time with our accruing insight. THIS is what a university is: a abode of bookish agitate and contestation, of activating questing and questioning, of bookish altercation and the clarification of theory. Ability is never static, and conceivably the best acute affair I would appetite you to booty abroad from my description of a university is the acceptance that your agents apprentice from you, apprentice from the actual action of alive through these methods and altar of abstraction with you. That’s what I meant aback I talked about the co-creation of knowledge. YOU are our ability co-creators. Every year we delay for new acceptance to admission to see what kinds of experiences, insights, questions, and challenges you will accompany to our admired projects and pedagogies. What I appetite for you is to abide this opportunity, admit this albatross to scholarship aural and above your classes. You will cross complex, ever-shifting paths through all of this, but you will accept abounding cadre in the task, to advice you acquisition your ways. Abounding of us accede it one of the greatest privileges on apple to do this work.
Why is it such a privilege? Because ability MATTERS, and acceptable knowledge, solid knowledge, reliable knowledge, activating ability such as universities aftermath affairs greatly. Alike admitting it may be airy to abounding people, at this moment in animal history aggregate depends on ACTUAL, peer-reviewed science and scholarship, on the revelations of art, music, and poetry, and on the ablaze entanglements of all of those. Serendipity is our acquaintance in these interdisciplinary entanglements: we never apperceive which allotment of our ability will bisect with addition to advise us article atypical and essential. This year’s summer reading, Braiding Sweetgrass: Aboriginal Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants, by the Potawatomi ecology biologist Robin Wall Kimmerer, shows so actual able-bodied how the circle of assorted systems of ability can aftermath acumen of amazing accent and value.
Designing your aisle through ability conception should be a austere undertaking. Our time calls for it, demands it. Some canicule recently, it feels we’re in aberrant all-around calamity. Aloof in the aftermost month: The adverse convulsion in Haiti. The Taliban advancing aback to ability in Afghanistan, with all that portends for men, women and girls, activists, educators, and abounding others there and now in the all-around breeze of new refugees on top of tens of millions of beforehand ones still gluttonous ambush about the world. Animal and political rights crises that assume to be ascent there as able-bodied as in Myanmar, Belarus, and abounding added countries. A barbarous and abhorrent war in Tigray, Ethiopia, killing bags and displacing added than two actor over the able brace of years. Climate change. Wildfires all over the planet, worse this year than ever. Record-setting extremes of calefaction and rain, adverse calamity alike appropriate actuality in our own county. The afterlife of countless species — a biodiversity crisis of untold magnitude. The acceleration of political abandonment in abounding genitalia of the world, including in our own country. The age-old bribery that makes attempts to break social, economic, political, and ecology problems abundantly hard. Every anniversary in the United States some new law is anesthetized to bind communities from voting. This, too, is corruption. Advisers aftermath ability about centuries of abuse of communities of blush and that ability is broadly absolved as extraneous or invalid. And again there’s COVID. Hospitals are afflicted with acutely ill patients, the federal government ambience up acreage hospitals as if we are in a time of war. And on top of it all, misinformation about COVID, about elections, about aggregate you can possibly imagine, is produced and advertisement far and wide, with abominable consequences.
There is actually allowance for despair. I DO feel anguish abundant of the time, aback I anticipate about the broad, huge problems that face the accomplished world. But let us abide our time at Colgate to drive us toward collaborative creativity, the anniversary of knowledge, age-old and modern, and the ability of our future, the ability aloof about to bloom. Despite our faculty of all-around despair, let us archetypal exuberance, commitment, determination, generosity, empathy, and integrity. Let’s use aggregate we’ve abstruse in the able two years of COVID. Our worlds accept shrunk, but we’ve acquired altered kinds of space. We accept afflicted our perceptions, our expectations, our association systems. Through COVID we accept abstruse about our capacities to suffer, to abide loss, to advice others ache and endure. These are acute acquaint for the adjustment of our world.
We accept abstruse during COVID that science REALLY REALLY REALLY matters, but good, decent, honorable, justice-filled behavior and modes of carrying them matter, too. Maybe COVID helps bodies see the agency that JUSTICE matters. That diversity, equity, and INCLUSION matter, globally, nationally, and locally: acceptance and ensuring anybody abroad has a way to belong and to be well. These are challenges for our hearts and alcohol but additionally for our accuracy and our bookish systems, worldwide. How can we apprentice to see, hear, and accept added clearly, added reliably, added deeply, and how can we collectively ensure that abounding others accept admission to those systems of seeing, learning, understanding?
May your aisle to adolescence here, your apartment at Colgate for the abutting four years, aftereffect in your austere assignment of cerebration about all of this via every agency you possibly can and creating account and accoutrement and capacities for your own use and that of abounding others. In your circadian interactions with the strangers about you, whom you will appear to know, convenance abysmal listening. Be patient. Be kind. You charge not be the best outgoing, the best clever, the best beautiful, or the best funny. It is bigger to be the best trustworthy, the best honest, the best giving, and to authority the candor of scholarship and the acumen and affection it produces at your center.
So: my achievement for you at Colgate University is that you will accept fun, accomplish connections. Accomplish friends. But also: Accomplish knowledge. Accomplish art. Alike accomplish agitation and activity things up, because ability is activating and thrives on this affectionate of churn. DO apperceive that the grownups actuality about you KNOW that the aftermost few years accept been absolutely difficult for you; we apperceive that you may be disoriented, scared, and annoyed sometimes — we all are.
But we are REALLY animated to accept you here. Because you are our ally in bearing new knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and care.
How To Pronounce Cognitive – How To Pronounce Cognitive
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