Valedictory Address
Delivered by Moore, Nancy

“Valedictory Address” (21 May 1997): 1-4. (UA Case 68, Box 2)

Your Excellency, your honor, Mr. Chancellor, Madame President, honored guests, family and friends, and last but definitely not least Graduates of the class of 1997: Good afternoon! As valedictorian of this graduation ceremony for the UNB class of 1997 I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for being here to be part of this celebration of excellence – marking yet another milestone for each of our lives on this journey called life.

Here we are, the representatives from the faculty of Education, Kinesiology and Nursing. All of the knowledge that we have gained over our years at UNB have prepared us for careers that are centered in helping people attain their highest potential, through education, recreation and fitness and of course, through effective delivery of health promotion and disease prevention strategies from highly educated nurses.

The degrees that have been bestowed upon each of us today provide a launching pad to explore opportunities to help others recognize their potential, while at the same time realizing our own.

This is the part of my speech where I am supposed to provide some cliché inspirational thoughts from classical literature, however, after four long years of overly cerebral literature, I found an author who relates better to myself and our generation – you could say “pop culture”, or at least the Hop on Pop culture. The great author, Dr. Seuss., has left us with a few poignant words that we can reflect upon today as graduates who set forth and take on the world. Here we go…
Today is your day
You’re off to great places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose!
You’re on your own, and you know what you known
And you are the one who’ll decide where to go!

You’ll look up streets and down streets, look ‘em over with care
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there!”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet
You’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street!

And you may not find any
You’ll want o go down
In that case of course,
You’ll head straight out of town.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
for people as brainy and footsy as you.
Oh the places you’ll go.

You’ll be on your way up
You’ll be seeing great sights
You’ll join the high fliers
Who soar the high heights

On and on you will hike
And I know you’ll hike far
and face every problem
whatever they are

You’ll get mixed up of course
as you already know
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go
So be sure when you step
Step with care and great tact
And remember that life’s a
Great Balancing act!
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And you will succeed
yes you will,
yes indeed
98 ¾% guaranteed!

So if you’re Joe Crummey, Laura of Trae,
or Cathy or Tammy or Ms. Kelly Day
You’re off to great places …
Today is your day
Your mountain is waiting so get on your way!!!
Well that is it for deep inspirational thoughts with Dr. Seuss; he makes tackling the world sound so simple.

I would be naïve at this point to tell you that the mountains that are before us all will be easy to climb. We have jobs to find, careers to build and life’s opportunities to explore. – and these things will not be easy for our generation. Perseverance will be a quality that is paramount in each of our lives. Look how much you have come through getting to this point of the game – you’ve proven you have the ability to take on any mountain before you.

Myself, I look beyond the mountain top, to the creator of all the mountains and seek guidance and help to persevere, and to get me through the really hard parts of life’s journey. It is my hope for all of you here today that you too will trust in this wisdom to help you along life’s pathways that they may be straight and you will not falter on your way to the places you’ll go!!!

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