Anthony DAngelo Speech - Commencement 2012
Address to the Class of 2012, College of Arts and Sciences and the Richard C. Goodwin College of Professional Studies Class of 2012
My mother always told me, “To whom much is given, much is expected in return.” Now, full disclosure, she typically said this when I was in a brief bout of laziness and not fulfilling my potential so I was usually pretty upset whenever she said it. If there’s one thing I hate to lose, it’s an argument with my mother. We’ve all been there, have we not? And every time she would break out that gem, I knew the argument was over. Because I knew she was right.
Each member of the Class of 2012 sitting here today has been given many gifts. Each has their own talents that they have nurtured during the last few years that they will take out of this room and bring to the next level, whatever and wherever that may be. In business, in medicine, in law, in education, in science, in entertainment, in whatever field they may find themselves, the Class of 2012 will take the talents they have and successfully make the transition into the world.
As I think back to everything that’s happened these last five years, I can’t help but smile. It’s been a remarkable half decade. I arrived on campus knowing I wanted to leave my mark somehow, but I didn’t have a clue how I was going to do it. I knew I just had to get out there, keep my options open and I would fall into something. Some people call that fate, others call it random chance. Whatever it was, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
I spent two and a half years building relationships and working games for the Athletic Department. Somewhere along the way, I decided I wanted to be the president of this thing called the DAC Pack. When I became president, I dug in my heels and began to get to work. I had some lofty goals for the group. I wanted to help make the group grow larger than it ever had been, I wanted to introduce a line of apparel beyond the standard DAC Pack T-shirt, I wanted to finally, at long last, hold the Midnight Madness concert that the group had been trying to hold since I arrived on campus. It was going to take a lot of work, I knew that. But by that point I had already bought in. I was hooked.
I cared deeply about the DAC Pack, about Drexel Athletics, about the people who work there, about the University in general and about the student body. I wanted badly for all of them to succeed. Now, anyone who knows me knows that if I feel strongly about something, I invest my whole self into it. Because you see, passion is a fuel. It powers a person and allows them to give the little bit of extra effort that it takes to be great. I hope that each of us finds ourselves working toward something we are passionate about. It makes the time spent worthwhile, the trials manageable, and the successes greater. It gives us something to live for, a reason to wake up invigorated each morning. I think back to when I was a little boy waking up on Christmas morning and the feeling of joy and excitement that filled my entire body. Oh, that we might have that feeling every day.
The Class of 2012 is strong willed, resilient and bright—I know this from personal experience. Whether I had a class with you, shared a drink with you, or handed you a DAC Pack shirt. Or even if we have never met, the feeling around this campus is something decidedly different than what it was when we first arrived. The University has grown as we have grown and the two are not mutually exclusive. For at the end of the day, what is a university, but its students? We have achieved many great things during our time here at Drexel. We will achieve many, many more great things as we move on into the future.
Before they would leave him for a distant mission, St. Ignatius of Loyola would tell his students, “Ite, omnia incendite et inflammate.” “Go and set the world on fire.” Now, this was not a recommendation to commit arson, but rather, an invitation to take their inner fire—their knowledge, their ingenuity, their passion, their love—and channel it and spread it around the world through their work. Faculty, trustees, family, friends, all of you who helped light the flames of the Class of 2012, my promise to you this day on behalf of my classmates is that we will do exactly that. We will leave this room today and we will set the world on fire.