The baccalaureate procession.

Delivering his 14th and final Colby baccalaureate address Saturday, May 24, President William D. Adams found common ground with members of Colby’s Class of 2014, who were poised to graduate the following day. “Like you,” he said, “I am getting evicted from my house tomorrow.”

Adams, President Barack Obama’s nominee to chair the National Endowment for the Humanities, admitted that he actually had an extra day—until Monday—to clear out of the President’s House. “But trust me,” he added. “I have a lot more stuff!”

On a more serious note, Adams compared the students’ situation to his own, invoking Martin Heidegger’s concept of “thrownness,” which he called, “the sensation of being launched into the future, catapulted ahead without the security of knowing where we will land.”

“You’re ready to succeed.”

President Adams to the Class of 2014

But he assured students that they are ready: “The intellectual capacities you’ve developed here, along with the breadth of learning and understanding that has also been a part of this journey, will have enormous utility in the world that lies just ahead. You’re ready for a career. You’re ready to make a significant contribution to a profession. You’re ready to succeed.”

Adams welcomed the class to Colby’s alumni family. They can expect generosity from earlier generations of graduates who will make them welcome and offer support, he told them, adding, “These generous forms of outreach and support come with reciprocal obligations. In return for their friendship and help, the members of the extended family will be expecting us to join them in finding ways to help the next generations of Colby students.”

2014 0524_Bacc_processional_WEBBaccalaureate launched two days of commencement activities, with student groups and academic departments holding receptions and celebrations prior to the formal graduation at 10 a.m. Sunday.