Governor Kate Brown, President Scott (don’t call me John) Coltrane, incoming FIFA President Hope Solo, parents and family of the 2015 graduates of the University of Oregon, and graduates one and all. My name is Kim Hastings and it is my distinct honor (on behalf of FishDuck.com/wepaidhandsomelyforthispimpspot) to be invited to speak to you on this august June (?) day.
Graduates, your friends, and family will congratulate you today. They will say, “You did it.” Rightfully so. This is the culmination of years of hard work, much study and likely enough student loans to keep you in debt until your children go to college.
But, in spite of the honor today, you may have a nagging doubt inside. Are you ready to step into the world of full-on adulthood? Are you, really and truly, (gulp) grown up?
But, graduates, I am here to say it’s okay. Many of us here today had moments of regression long after we graduated from college. Allow me to tell a short personal story, if I might. I graduated from college in 1984. Eight years later I embarked on my literary career by writing a song, to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It was about Washington Husky quarterback Billy Joe Hobert.
Glory, glory Billy Jo-oe. Had a wife and then a ho-oe. He’s too unaware to kno-ow, he’ll be a lou-sy pro.”
So you will do some grown-up things. You’ll also do some things not so adult. It’s okay. At least you didn’t grow up rooting for Bill “Earthquake” Enyart of Oregon State when they played the Ducks.
But before I go, allow me to offer just a few words of advice as you set out on life’s crooked highway.
First, remember the people who got you here today. Your parents, teachers, coaches, clergy and mentors. All are a part of the great cloud of witnesses who are proud of what you have accomplished so far. They root for your continued success …
But most of all, years from now, when you are on the way from Whole Foods to your luxury Beemer in the parking lot …
… give a few bucks to the down on his luck fella’.
Congratulations to the graduates of the University of Oregon. Once a Duck, always a Duck. We’ll be calling for alumni donations in just a couple of weeks.
Top photo by flickr.com
Kim Hastings is a 1984 graduate of Northwest Christian College. He cut his journalistic teeth as sports editor of a paper in his home town of Fortuna, CA, and, later as a columnist for the Longview Daily News in Longview, WA.
He saw his first Oregon game in 1977 and never missed a home game from 1981 until a bout with pneumonia cut his streak short in 1997. He was one of the proud 3200 on a bitterly cold night in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1989 for the Independence Bowl, and continues to be big supporter of Oregon sports. He is an active participant on the various Oregon Ducks messageboards as “TacomaDuck.”
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