WASHINGTON, PA (May 19, 2018) – Pulitzer Prize-winning author George Anders addressed more than 300 Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) graduates during the May 19 commencement ceremony, encouraging them to both look to their mentors and become mentors themselves as they move into the next phase of their lives.
Anders’s speech, “Becoming Your Own Mentor,” encouraged the new graduates to draw on strengths they acquired during their time at W&J and recognize that even with limited experience, they are more powerful than they realize.
“The magic of a college education goes far beyond the papers you’ve written, the tests you’ve taken, and the courses listed on your transcripts. For the past four years, you’ve been part of an extraordinary cohort of allies who constantly open doors for one another,” said Anders, who champions liberal arts education in his newest book, You Can Do Anything. “When bumpy moments arrive, you already have the resources that you need to prevail. In four years of college, you are ready to be your own mentor, regardless of what the circumstances might be.”
The College conferred honorary doctorate degrees to Anders and to international peace builder Mary Montague, who delivered the 2018 Baccalaureate speech on May 18.
Anders wasn’t the only speaker to enlighten the Class of 2018. Chase McKevitt ’18 delivered the senior address, during which he considered the fleeting nature of time as he recounted all the things the class experienced together during their time at W&J.
“To the class of 2018, I charge you with the following. Live a life grounded in the values and attributes developed at W&J. Please, don’t focus on time as much, but focus on the merit and fulfillment of your happiness,” McKevitt said. “And, when we return 50 years from now, I promise the seconds we have to look back on will be precious. Let’s make those moments have a lasting impact on the world, an impact to make the world a better place.”
W&J President John C. Knapp, Ph.D., congratulated the class on their accomplishments and wished them well as they prepare to embark into the professional world.
“Students, it is my great honor to commend you for your many achievements during your time with us. You have worked hard, learned well and persevered to become W&J graduates,” Dr. Knapp said. “It is my hope that each of you has also found this to be a place of welcome – a community where lifelong friendships have formed since you crossed the seal in Old Main on a fall day just four years ago. I am confident that through every stage of life your appreciation of your years at W&J will only continue to grow.”
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.