August 5, 2017
Purdue University - Elliott Hall of Music
by Brian Lamb
To paraphrase onetime Hoosier Abraham Lincoln's speech at Gettysburg - The world will little note, nor long remember what I say here, but you will never forget what you did here.
Today's a very happy day. You graduates deserve to give yourselves and your parents a big hand. Purdue has been very good to you and to me – worldwide reputation, great professors, a solid education, and lifelong friends. Leaving here is a big transition, so here are some brief suggestions for the next phase of your lives.
- Learning is a lifetime proposition– never stop, or you will grow old sooner.
- Read and read some more. Just ask Dr. Jasmine Linabary
- Especially, read history. Historian David McCullough says, "…it's a larger way of looking at life." I recommend his new book, "The American Spirit" to better understand what it means to be an American.
- For perspective on today's world, read Mitch Daniels' 2009 Butler University speech. My generation and the baby boomers haven't always done the right thing. Now is your opportunity to do better.
A few other things I've learned…
- Travel - experience the world you don't know.
- Interview your parents – record it. You'll come to treasure this.
- Stay close to your friends.
- Thank your favorite professor. Do it again in 10 years. It will inspire them to continue teaching.
- Make music part of your life every day. It will make you happy.
- Put your phone down once in awhile. Ask questions of others; listen to their answers.
- Develop a good handshake — it leaves a lasting impression.
- Finally, be an involved citizen. Our country isn't broken, but Washington is. You are our best hope to fix it.