Catherine Rex delivered the 4th Annual Joel L. Shin Memorial Latin Oration
It is so difficult to believe that our time together has come to a close. I would like to congratulate each of you for your achievement tonight, and express my pride in our collective achievement. It has been four years of Socrates and Aristotle, four years of knee socks and skirts, and for some, four years of riding in the very conspicuous Montfort bus. Dear graduates, thank you for your friendship, and for being so good to each other. No one could ask to have grown up with better friends. Each word of support and rightful chastisement has made this class feel like a family. And now, leaving behind the familiar, we must traverse into the unknown world of college, but fear not, dear graduates, for we started at Montfort as tall as this lampstand***allusion to Cena Trimalchionis from the Satyricon written by Petronius**** , but now we are able to withstand anything with the knowledge we have gained.
And now, dear and learned teachers, never appreciated enough, I would like to thank you on behalf of my class for all that you have taught us. For four years you have taught us history and literature, calculus and chemistry, but more importantly, you have taught us to be good Christians by your example. The job of a teacher is unique in that the fruit of their labor is something intangible – the supposition that what they teach has been retained by the student’s mind. Well, we may not always remember what a limit is, or how to decline fourth declension nouns, but we will always carry with us the impact you had on our character.
It is by the grace of God that our parents have supported and loved us and helped us to arrive at this milestone. Let us thank God for this grace. We thank you, parents, for teaching us the most important lessons in life, and always urging us to do better and be better. We owe you our success tonight. Thank you for forming us into the young adults we are today, because soon will be on our own, and reliant on our ability to stand up firmly by ourselves.
And so, to whom do I dedicate this Latin oration, just now polished with a dry pumice stone? To you, teachers and parents; for you were accustomed to think something of our nonsense.***allusion to Catullus 1