Be a Harper!
Be a Harper!College Board Communications
This year’s commencement ceremony at William Rainey Harper College, a community college in Palatine, Illinois, was a special one for the graduates. First, this year’s commencement marked 50 years of Harper College and the closing of a yearlong anniversary celebration. And second, it symbolized the first page of a future not yet written for the more than 3,500 graduates who were conferred associates, career, and technical degrees and certificates.
College Board President and CEO David Coleman delivered commencement remarks in front of an estimated crowd of 5,000 at Harper’s campus outdoor pavilion. Rather than focusing on his own life lessons, Coleman drew inspiration for his remarks from Harper’s own students and faculty.
“As I prepared to speak with you today, I discovered something much more interesting, more surprising, and wiser than myself – and that is you,” he said. “I’ve spent the last few weeks listening to the students and teachers of Harper College…and I want to share with you some hard-earned lessons I found, drawn from your own words.”
Watch Coleman’s full commencement remarks here.
Finally, Coleman asked all the graduates — many of whom have already begun to change the world by inspiring others to go to college — to continue to be Harpers. In Old English, the word “harper” comes from the harpists who carried the music and sang the stories of their time. Their role was to inspire others — to record the deeds and lessons of others and spread them memorably through song.
“Think about who you have inspired or will inspire. For that’s what being a Harper means,” Coleman said. “Creating that spark in others, lifting them up with your stories and your successes, encouraging them and showing them how to keep moving forward.”
There’s no magic formula for choosing a college, but there are steps you can take to find a good fit. The College Board’s BigFuture™ is a free, comprehensive website that provides families with a step-by-step guide that can help them navigate the process of selecting and enrolling in a college. Visit bigfuture.org for more information.