May 13, 2024

College President Convocation Speech Highlights

Convocation day

College Presidents for Civic Preparedness members activate the three Core Commitments in various ways: from course offerings to convocation speeches. Read how these presidents incorporated civic preparedness, civil discourse, and free expression into their speeches.  


“…This campus must be a place where views of all kinds can be expressed freely, but also examined critically.  For democratic deliberation to work, free expression must also be respectful expression; free speech in the context of our mission also entails critical listening.  I hope that Rollins can be a model of a learning community composed of a great diversity of voices and points of view in active, mutual, and respectful engagement.”  

-Grant Cornwell, President, Rollins College  


“In your classrooms and practice halls, in locker rooms and labs, you will come up, almost certainly, against viewpoints and opinions that are dramatically different from your own. I urge you to listen to those opposing perspectives and grapple with new evidence; to have your ideas changed by the views and experiences of others; and to allow your experiences and views to inform those of your peers.”  

-Ron Daniels, President, Johns Hopkins University  


“Paul’s words remind us that our gifts and the differences among us are valuable only in so far as they contribute to the good of the whole and in making that contribution, they find their purpose. Of all the institutions in society today, universities rely on the contributions of the most extensive array of individuals and groups on and off campus each contributing in a different way.”  

-Father John Jenkins, President, The University of Notre Dame