Fortunately, in the 1950's, conformity was encouraged — though we were also in a period of transition.
Women were finding our voices at Wellesley, but we were also expected to be young ladies — except perhaps during that occasional outing to Boston.
In college, I learned much about Renaissance composers, and Shakespearean plays and the periodic table; but I also learned an awful lot about myself
that I wanted to use the fine education I had received for something more meaningful than table conversation;
that I wanted to test — not simply accept — the limits and boundaries of the life I was preparing to lead;
that I wanted to give something back to this country that had given so much to me.
I suspect that the same is true for you in your experience here at Tufts.
You arrived here having already lived 21st century lives.
Some came from the nearby towns in New England, others from the suburbs of Los Angeles and the city neighborhoods of Chicago.
Some, were raised amid the skyscrapers of Hong Kong; others in Iraqi refugee camps in Syria.
Some lost loved ones in 9/11 — and all of you lived through the trauma of the Boston marathon bombing and its aftermath.
Regardless of where you came from, at Tufts you have learned much about what is outside you and much about what is inside you, as well.
You learn how to put your opinions — and your assumptions — to a test.
This is important, because from this day forward,
you will have to rely not on grades or guidance from professors to tell you how you're doing and where you stand.
You will have to rely, instead, on an inner compass;
whether that compass is true will determine whether you become a drifter who is blown about by every breeze, or a doer:
An active citizen determined to chart your own course, question your assumptions, and, when necessary, sail unafraid against strong winds.