Eeman Amjad and Tanay Warerkar:
Senior Class Co-Presidents
Respected faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees, parents, friends and the beautiful class of 2012, we stand before you at a bittersweet moment, but a moment of great achievement nevertheless. After four years of rigorous conference work, thought-provoking seminars, and those incredibly long hours spent in the library, we have finally made it, and today we want to honor and celebrate you, the class of 2012.
Four years ago when we first joined the school, we stood under this very tent and cheered for the newly elected President Obama. And as he yelled "Yes we can," so did we, and every day since then our students have embodied his call for hope and change through the diverse initiatives this student body has undertaken. Whether it was ensuring the better treatment of workers through the workers justice movement, the safety of tenants living in Hill House, and the revolutionary scale of the pedagogy forum, which brought the entire campus community together to help us understand why we matter.
We mattered because we were here; because we were part of this larger community. This was the place where we constantly challenged ourselves in seminars, conferences, over dinner, and sometimes even at Andrews Court parties. It was in seminars that we disseminated Foucault's idea of social construction, followed Dante during his treacherous journey through the Inferno, analyzed each other's fiction over round table workshops, and comprehended organic chemistry and neurology through poster sessions and brain fair. Our culture and pedagogy taught us that it isn't sufficient to be driven by grades and ambition, but by passion, and introspection. At Sarah Lawrence, we aren't just numbers, we are individuals who have been cultivated by the efforts of our brilliant faculty, who constantly pushed us to transform and evaluate ourselves.
The visionary faculty and pedagogy were the main reasons I decided to come to Sarah Lawrence. To many, Sarah Lawrence has helped us find a purpose, and pushed us to confront our insecurities. It was here that we made life-changing decisions. Whether it was cutting off all of our hair, or deciding to become a dancer, or coming out to our friends and family, Sarah Lawrence always provided us avenues to express our changes and experiences.
These experiences would not have happened at any other school, would not have meant anything because for me, my time at Sarah Lawrence is defined by the people. I would not have been the same had I never met you. You are the person, the people who changed the way I think, the way I talk, the way I choose to identify myself and it is because of you I can take those thoughts and words and change them into action. Whether it was two friends who won the Davis Peace Project and traveled across the world to help teach sustainable farming; you and your friends starting a food co-op on campus; or adapting a literary masterpiece into a theatrical adaptation. And often there were the intimate moments you shared amongst yourselves: watching a football game on Sunday nights in the TV loft, staying up late at night arguing the existence of genies, or whether it was taking your desperate, hungry friends to Trader Joe's.
Take a second to look around you, because after this you may not get a chance to see these people again. Look in the front, back, and to your sides. Look for the first person who was there to hug you when you were homesick, your friends who walked down to Sunday brunch with you, the person who kissed you on the cheek when you first met, the people who you danced with in Lynd, on the North Lawn, or in the Blue Room. Look for those people moving away; moving back to California, starting a new job in Atlanta, or beginning a new chapter of their life in Taiwan. Our school is shaped by our friends and the experiences we shared with them, and our friends have become a second home to us.
Years later when we may have succeeded in our life goals of becoming an actor, poet, political activist, or even a pediatrician, we'll look back at all the people we met, the diverse and eclectic individuals who really became a part of our lives even if for a short time. And though you may not see most of them again, and you'll never get this time back, you'll always have those shared experiences and moments. On that note, we want to congratulate you, wish you all the best of luck, and tell you that we are honored and proud to be graduating with the class of 2012.