President Nugent's Remarks at Commencement 2006
Members of the Class of 2006, it is my profound hope that your journey at Kenyon has led you increasingly toward intellectual growth, maturity, and judgment... qualities of character and humane-ness that I fear are often difficult to discern today in the larger world.
Around us in society, during these past four years, we have seen growing mistrust, conflict, ethnic tension, and, often, a breakdown of rational discourse.
I wish that I could say our community here at Kenyon--idyllic as it often seems--has been entirely free of these problems. But we all know that, unfortunately, that is not true. I mention this not in any way to dampen or diminish our spirit of celebration here today. But rather to re-dedicate us to the nobler values which I believe each one of us associates with Kenyon.
So I leave you with the faith of a confirmed Platonist that there is indeed an Ideal Kenyon, "an inner Kenyon," if you will, that those of us who have come to love this college share. That inner Kenyon is not sited on a hill, but in your heart. And it will remain with you throughout your life--especially when you choose to question and to learn, rather than to close your mind, when you think of the welfare of others before your own self interest, when you strive, not just for gain or fame but to achieve higher, more lasting goals.
Good luck to you, and may each of you fully realize your own "inner Kenyon."