Transcript of keynote address from Director of Graduate Studies Finn Enke

Hello, my dear MA students. I’m sitting here so very much wishing that I could be with you all in person, all of us celebrating all of your amazing accomplishments and work that you’ve been doing in GWS over the last couple of years. I want you to know that there are birds all around me, and they’re looking at me saying, “We’re celebrating too!” But I do wish that we could be together in person, because it is a really momentous occasion and deserves really so much celebration.

Recognizing our graduates: Diana Madrigal and Agnes Phoebe Muyanga will be graduating with an MA degree momentarily, and at the end of the summer Flint Devine and Liz Fansler will be graduating with a GWS MA, and during fall Cyra Polizzi and Katka Showers-Curtis will be graduating with a GWS MA. And I just could not be more proud of all of you. As a cohort, you have really made the program your own, and I think more than any other cohort, you have really become a team. And it has been so profound to watch you develop relationships with each other and give each other so much support, and show each other so much respect, and share your insights with one another, your inspiration with one another. It’s just been a really amazing team that you’ve become and a real model, I think, for all of us about how to create a sustaining and nourishing community that really, really stands out. So I want to recognize first all of you together, and I want to include Esaí in that as well. It’s been very meaningful and powerful to witness the care and respect that you have for one another.

And I want to recognize you individually as well; you have come into this program, and all of you have been asking really good questions what you’re doing here in the program, what you’re doing in life, and you are creating projects for yourselves that allow you to make meaning out of the degree and the education and also make meaning out of life. And at the same time, do such a profound job of bringing your insights and your vitality to the world. The ways that you inspire each other, how you inspired the program, I think you have also really inspired the program to become a better program; in part by coming in and really deciding for yourselves what matters most and working for that, and working really hard for it. Each of you have faced really significant challenges while you’ve been here and seen your way through them and brought that into the meaning of what you’re doing as well, so it’s really a very powerful thing to witness and a huge honor for me to get to be some small part of that.

I want to thank you for your presence in the program and in the world. I want to celebrate you, I want to congratulate you, I hope that someday we can all meet in person and have a really, really good party. But until that time, congratulations again, please take care, and also please stay touch. It will be really wonderful to hear from you down the road. So yeah, thanks so much, everybody. Take care.