Students > Back in the Day

School of Tomorrow Graduation Speech

Graduation Speech 2012 

By Delbert Spurlock


My great friend and mentor Al Golub would be hilariously delighted to observe my connection to School for Tomorrow (SFT).

So with THAT bow to the spirits of the room, Let me say how honored I am to speak to the first graduating class of School for Tomorrow. I thank Alan for allowing me the opportunity to participate in your innovative experiment in reaching young people. My few months with all of you, faculty, staff and students have reinforced my belief that a new generation can build a new model of education. A new model capable of melding the infinite resource of information technology with the curiosity of young minds permitted the freedom to explore on their own. A model that values the interests and imagination of students as a foundations rather than impediments to learning.

When I reflect upon my short experience an instructor within that model, I strongly suspect that I have received more from the students I have had the pleasure of working with than they have from me.

Graduates, you and your generation are entering a society unpracticed in learning from its mistakes – a society in which reason is denigrated, belief becomes all consuming, and the wants of the powerful eclipse the needs of the weak. We have examined together the fact that our world is in serious need of a correction.

Most pointedly, you have been exposed to an instructor who believes that we live in a country that has been transformed into the world’s bully for the benefit of a few and the horror of hundreds of thousands of our finest young men and women and their families. And that they will be with us, struggling, for the next fifty years or more, if we don’t do something about it. And we have thought about and examined that together.

AT SFT, you have had the opportunity to think and act in the way the world must if justice is to be restored for the benefit of your generation. Here you have experienced authority that can be nonthreatening, respectful, and honest. And here, you have felt the responsibility of contributing to your learning environment – to both its design and operation. You have done this while developing critical analytical skills using technology you have mastered and are creating. And perhaps, most importantly you have begun the development of the situational awareness and critical analytical skills that you must continue to hone as you deepen the meaning of your citizenship.

My charge to you as you graduate is to do something which sounds very simple and but which is and will become more difficult: that is, to hold hands with one another. What I mean by this is that you stay connected to yourselves and those that have shared this experience with you and most importantly, that you protect your freedom to communicate with one another honestly and openly as citizens in a free society.

Remember that what you have experienced here is something worth preserving and that it will serve as a foundation in molding your futures. Those futures will demand collaboration, analysis, adaptability, and imagination, all of which you have begun to develop here at SFT.

My greatest pleasure working with you these past few months is watching the growing realization among yourselves that you are up to these tasks ahead.

Keep believing and keep challenging yourselves.

You can make good things happen.