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VT 2021-05-19 290次


Remarks by Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, at the Virginia Tech Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremony

Thank you, President Sands, for that kind introduction and for inviting me to address this year’s graduates of Virginia Tech.

Graduates, family members, friends, even if this is not the year that any of you had imagined, it certainly is one that none of us will ever forget.

I know this Virginia Tech community was already sorely tested 14 years ago.

Your enduring resilience has been an inspiration to all who have heard your story.

And so it’s no surprise that when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, you looked it square in the eye, and brought all of your talents and determination to take on the worst pandemic in 103 years.

Students and faculty adapted to virtual instruction, even engineering your physical space to make it safe and useful.

You’ve taken care of each other, but also reached out to your community to answer their questions, provide PPE, set up virus testing, and offer your emotional support.

It is an inescapable truth that none of us have been promised a life without suffering and heartache.

We have seen that reality this past year.

We’ve all had the chance to choose how to respond.

But none of us can do better in that choice than following your motto, Ut Prosim, That I May Serve.

The Hokie Nation did that.

And so while it was not what you expected in your final year at Virginia Tech, it has been a formative experience guided by the Hokie spirit at its core, and that will stand you in good stead as you go out into the world, and the world needs you.

My heartfelt congratulations to this year’s Virginia Tech graduates and to the friends and family members who supported them throughout and who celebrate with them today.

But now, to conclude these brief remarks, a little musical reflection on where we’ve been and where we’re going...

Somewhere Past the Pandemic.

“Somewhere past the pandemic when we’re free, there’s a life I remember full of activity.

Somewhere past the pandemic, no quarantine,

We’ll all stay well and healthy thanks to a safe vaccine.

As you prepare to say goodbye, your final year at Tech was all confounded,

You knew you’d spend some time in class, but not so much time wearing masks.

Those Hokie Birds were grounded.

Somewhere past the pandemic, life will resume.

And we’ll complain about the traffic, forgetting how we hated Zoom.

Somewhere past the pandemic, I’ll hug my friends,

And thank the heroes around that brought the pandemic’s end.

Congrats to all you graduates, the world is waiting.

Follow Ut Prosim.”

Congratulations, Class of 2021.

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