2014-05-21

Gallaudet Commencement Speech Excerpts

Gallaudet University just recently had its commencement ceremony and the surprise appearances by two familiar well known figures from the past got standing applauses from the graduating class.

"At first, I'm shocked to see an image of myself on the mall, and all these wild horseless carriages, it's an honor to be here at this institution that my signature created, I see these Deaf having a future, making a contribution to our nation. The Constitution has withstood all these challenges over time, and I'm proud to leave a legacy for generations to come. Despite of all what we had achieved, there are still some barriers to overcome. Today I had an opportunity to tour the White House, it's a pleasure to visit the first black President, slavery may be a thing of the past, but racism still what is preventing us from becoming greatest nation on earth. Congress, same old story, bickering as usual. I got so much to learn, today Michael Jackson, whom I met backstage, taught me the moonwalk." Abraham Lincoln thanks his interpreter, Thomas Gallaudet, now taking the podium. Gallaudet University gave him a penny as a token of appreciation.

"I can't imagine actually being here with Abraham Lincoln and Michael Jackson, I thought I was in Heaven, but your engineers explains that I'm an avatar, and like you, I still can't figure it out how they done that. You guys taught me a new word, "audism," and I agreed with my friend, Abe, that we still face oppression in our society and we had to deal with them. In my time, we taught our Deaf students vocational skills, seamstresses, shoe repairs but nowadays the world has changed ever since, you can be doctors, lawyers, anything you wish to be. My old friend (laughing), Alexandra Graham Bell, isn't around to bother me, he's still in his grave. Today I rode the Metro, got lost and people were staring at me, wearing this Victorian outfit, I obviously felt out of place but on this campus I'm home, especially when you students came up to me asking for "selfies", I humbly obliged. I tried to call Alice Cogswell, using your videophones (VP), but forgetting that I'm in the wrong century. I ain't got much time so Abe and I will be joining Michael Jackson to paint the town red before they shut off our avatars, and may God be with you in your endeavors." 
 
Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz thanks the three gentlemen and proceed in handling out diplomas. Seniors then ran after Michael Jackson seeking his autograph on their Tower Clock yearbooks. An reception was held at the "Ole Jim" afterwards.
 

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