Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.: Charge to Class of 2023

Author: Sue Lister

You know, graduates, we have recognized so many deserving people, but we have not yet recognized a group who is perhaps most deserving.  Graduates, you would not be here were it not for the support, care and love of your parents, guardians and families.  They have many, many times cheered for you.  We need to recognize them.  So graduates, I ask you to turn and applaud those without whom you would not be here:  your parents and families, and those who are waiting for you.

Graduates, after much ceremony and many speeches, I have little to add by way of a charge, but this: Take what you have learned here at the University of Notre Dame and let it enable you to go forth and do good. Always be as generous as you can with your time, talent and all you have. In your family life, your professional life and your spiritual life, every day of your life, never forget that the charge for you as Notre Dame graduates is to be a force for good in this world. As President Santos said, find peace in yourselves that you can be peacemakers in this world. 

Keep alive the friendships you formed here at Notre Dame, for they will provide joy, strength and comfort in the years ahead. They will be among the great treasures of your life.

Class of 2023, you will always have a special place in my heart because we have been through together, a global pandemic here at Notre Dame.  As I often say, one of my true joys as President is to meet alumni of the University of Notre Dame all around the world and hear of their remarkable accomplishments and of their dedicated service.  That will certainly be true for you, members of the class of 2023.  I look forward to the time, years hence, when I will meet you and feel proud that you are graduates of the University of Notre Dame.  

I am sure there will be challenges, frustrations, disappointments, and detours in your lives.  Know that you are in our prayers here at Notre Dame, and wherever you go, and whatever happens in your life, you will always have a home at Notre Dame to renew your heart and refresh your spirit.  

God bless you all.