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The Joy of Struggle: Commencement 2014

Originally Posted on sajenkins, May 27, 2014

By Christopher B. Nelson

On Sunday, May 11, St. John’s College held its two hundred twenty-second commencement ceremony in Annapolis. The commencement speaker was Andrew J. Krivak, an alumnus of the Annapolis Class of 1986, and a National Book Award Finalist for his first novel, The Sojourn.

One expects to hear a great deal of laudatory rhetoric at a commencement ceremony. Commencement speakers have something of an obligation to congratulate the graduates, as well as to praise parents and relatives for their support. They often make these celebratory topics the centerpieces of their speeches.

Mr. Krivak certainly fulfilled the obligation very elegantly. But he chose to place at the center of his speech an unexpected theme: the suffering and joy of struggle.

Click here to read the rest of the post by Christopher B. Nelson, president of St. John's College in Annapolis, in the SignPost for Liberal Education blog.

"The generation of mankind is like the generation of leaves. The wind scatters the leaves on the ground, but the living tree burgeons with leaves again in the spring."
- Homer