Welcome Your Royal Highness Crown Prince Hussein, guests, faculty, staff, friends, family, and the Class of 2018,
For the last several weeks, we have been incessantly asked: “What did you learn at King’s Academy?”
His Majesty’s vision for our school is that we will practice respect, exercise responsibility, and encompass leadership, so that we are positioned to understand the issues that have befallen this region and this world and so that we are inspired to effect change instead of remaining complacent. After experiencing all that we have at King’s Academy, we are motivated to do just that.
The Class of 2018 focused on issues that when weighed against wars and economic crises, may fall on a smaller scale:
When should prom be scheduled?
What colors should our senior jackets be?
Should we be graduating during Ramadan?
Make no mistake, we know the issues that lie before us are greater.
Such was the case when Winston Churchill, at the tender age of 24 - just six years older than we stand today - urged his generation to defend their freedom and right for self-determination with the words:
“Be kind, but be fierce. You are needed now more than ever. Take up the mantle of change, for this is your time.”
And now, this is our time.
I am hopeful that the next revolutionary, the next renegade, the next rebel, is sitting among us poised to disrupt and disobey.
The question is not if we will be able to recognize injustice, or if we can coherently rebuke opposing opinions, the question is if we will summon the courage to speak in forums and venues that do not welcome our voices.
At King’s, we are encouraged to express ourselves in classrooms and auditoriums, on stages and podiums, in hallways and in the student union — and we often did. But, as we move forward, I hope we possess the bravery and the tenacity to speak when we are unheard, unwanted and unrecognized.
So, today, we are here to celebrate change.
University will surely be an experience for us all. Everything around us will change, and we will be forced to adapt and adjust to our new environments.
Change your hair, change your style, change your mind, change your opinion, change your major and your minor, even feel free to change the university altogether. Change the way you think, what you think, what you know, your preferences or your perceptions of the world and the people around you.
Remember to question everything, and never lose that burning passion for change.
Looking at us, I see people who will be the architects of new energy systems, the builders of stable financial institutions, the creators of relevant educational systems, and future government officials who contribute to a consensus of peace.
To the Class of 2018, we will be the generation that will stop at nothing, and the architects of the worlds future. Now, let’s make our future come early.