21 questions for today’s college graduates

Editors note: At a special ceremony for first-generation college graduates at Tufts University, James Glaser, dean of the school of arts and sciences, gave a commencement speech comprised entirely of questions. The slightly edited text of the speech is as follows:

What if I told you that because a university is a place of questions – and hopefully some answers – that I have decided to give my remarks to you entirely in the interrogative? Is this OK with you?

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

What has happened in these four years? How much has changed?

Did you experience great success? Did you experience failure, and if so, did you learn from it?

Did it take perseverance, resilience, grit and a few all-nighters to get here?

James Glaser, dean of school the arts and sciences at Tufts University, addresses first-generation college students. Tufts University
Did you become more civically involved? Were you able to connect what you learned outside the classroom with what you learned inside the classroom?

Have you looked at any of the work you did first year and said “Oh my God!”?