Summer 2014| Posse National Newsletter


More than 400 Scholars Graduate from Top Schools

This spring, more than 400 Posse Scholars earned their diplomas from Posse partner colleges and universities nationwide. These new graduates join an elite network of more than 2,600 Posse alumni as the next generation of leaders in a broad range of professional fields in the United States and abroad.

Among the graduates were Fulbright Scholars, leadership award winners, student body presidents, founders of cultural groups, and resident advisors. They are beginning advanced degree programs and pursuing opportunities in fields such as education, finance, technology, public policy and medicine.

Posse President and Founder Deborah Bial delivered the commencement address at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts with a message for graduates to “be brave.” The college graduated its first Posse of Miami Scholars as did Hamilton College and the University of Pennsylvania.

The following is an excerpt from Deborah Bial’s Mount Holyoke College commencement address:

Every single woman in this crowd of graduates today is someone’s hope for a better future, for equal pay, for a fair shot at the American Dream. It is on you that we hang our hopes for a more just and reasonable society.

For those of you who make the decision to lead, to make your life about improving the lives of others, know that you will have to be brave.

That’s just the way moral progress works, and we need you to fight the difficult fights. Dare to be the unexpected champion of what is right, no matter how unpopular, difficult or bizarre-seeming the position. Be brave. Have the courage to stand up for what you care about, for what you believe in. And remember, small things are sometimes bigger than you realize, sometimes huge.

History is not linear. It doesn’t guarantee us progress or solutions and sometimes we move backwards. Martin Luther King once famously said that the moral arc of the universe bends towards justice, but I would add that it does so only under tremendous and constant pressure. Be that pressure. We are never done. Be loyal to the truth, to compassion, to diligence and do your best to do the right thing.

The great poet and Mount Holyoke alumna Emily Dickinson wrote that “the brain is wider than the sky.” She also famously wrote that “hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” My hope for you on this your graduation day is that you will use your sky-encompassing minds responsibly, for your own good, but also for the good of others, and that as you carve your life’s unique path, you hold fast to the hope that sings the tunes without words and never stops. 

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