I will remember the Environmental Studies Class of ‘21 by three words, leadership, courage, and steadfastness.
Leadership is not the act of commanding others, nor is it occupying some position of authority. Those are roles that are assigned to one by others.
Leadership means joining a community and taking on the duty of helping that community adapt and prosper in the face of difficulty.
Courage is not running into a burning building or any other momentary act of exposing oneself to danger. That is bravery, which while admirable is just an impulse.
Courage is having faith in oneself and trust in one’s community such that, no matter the present difficulty, it can be overcome and a better future be made possible.
Steadfastness is a noteworthy virtue because it is so rarely noted. Yet, without it, no great undertaking is possible. Persistence may be rewarded but not all persistent people are steadfast.
Being steadfast means staying at your post until all of your duties are fulfilled.
Class of ’21, I salute you for remaining in our community and leading it in a time of difficulty.
Class of ’21, I admire you for your faith in yourselves and trust in each other and in us, your faculty.
Class of ’21, you have fulfilled your duties to yourselves and to your community.
Leadership, courage, steadfastness. When I think of these things, I will remember you.
Michael Fotos, DUS for EVST