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Commencement '98

Shriver Tells Graduates "Pinpoint Your Passion" 

Maria Shriver, award-winning journalist and NBC television news corespondent, told the graduating class of 1998, that "laughter and love will get you through this thing called life." 

Shriver delivered the principal address and received an honorary degree as Holy Cross graduated 614 seniors and conferred two other honorary degrees at its 152nd Commencement on May 22. 

Others receiving honorary degrees were Bob Cousy '50, athlete, author, broadcaster, coach, and community service advocate; and the Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., director of JOBS FOR A FUTURE, an employment center for at-risk youth in Boyle Heights, Calif. 

Nicholas A. Kenney, a history major from Atlanta, Ga., delivered the valedictory. In his speech, Kenney cited Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and human rights leader. Kenney told the story of a student who went to Douglass for advice as to what to do with his life. "Douglass looked at his questioner," said Kenney, "thought for a moment, leaned slightly forward and calmly but forcefully said three simple words - 'A-GI-TATE! Agitate! Agitate!'" Kenney said that the word could be interpreted as a call to agitate for "inner, personal change." 

"We should not accept ourselves without pushing ourselves," Kenney said. "Today begins a time when we will be gadflies, when we will test our own boundaries and capabilities." 

Shriver spoke of all the advice she received regarding what to talk about in her speech. In the end, she rejected all suggestions and opted instead to share her "top-ten list of things I wish someone had told me when I was sitting, like you, at my graduation." 

After sharing anecdotes and advice on career, marriage, and parenting, Shriver concluded by saying, "There you have it -  My report from the fighting front of the graduate from a Catholic university out there making it day-by-day in the real world. . . . As you step out of Holy Cross and into the rest of your lives, I know you're wondering whether that jittery feeling in your gut is excitement or just plain fear of the future. Believe me, it's probably fear. But I want you to remember what someone wise just told me: Courage is walking through fear with faith. I wish all of you the faith and courage to pinpoint your passion, to get out there, be free, and achieve it. Congratulations." 

Maria Shriver's Top-Ten List of Things She Wishes She Had Been Told At Her Graduation: 
* Pinpoint your passion.  
* No job is beneath you.  
* Who you work for and with is as important as what you do.  
* Your behavior has consequences.  
* Be willing to fail.  
* Superwoman is dead.  
* Children do change your  career.  
* Marriage is hard work.  
* Don't expect anyone else to  support you financially.  
* Laughter and a sense of  humor about yourself will smooth the road before you.  

C-SPAN will be airing Maria Shriver's Commencement address during the July 4th holiday weekend. To find out the exact time of the broadcast call C-SPAN at Viewer Services: (202) 626-7963.

 

 

Maria Shriver and Rev. Gerard Reedy, S.J.

Maria Shriver and Rev. Gerard Reedy, S.J.

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