Thanks and Goodbye

May 4, 2018
Friday, May 4, 2018
 
Dear Members of the Class of 2021:
 
It seems like yesterday we were welcoming you back from your long winter break. I trust the year has also sped by for you, and you are able to look back with pride at accomplishments and with awe at discoveries of one sort or another.
 
You may be familiar with Mark Twain's remark: "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years." A bit of hyperbole, but students often report an evolving relationship with their parents and heightened regard given time away from one another. Whatever your experience, I trust you will wear your enhanced knowledge and skills lightly, and continue to appreciate the varieties of intelligence and day-to-day involvements that make communities—of all sizes and shapes—work.
 
We are leaving the Yard together—I for the totally uncharted waters of retirement and you for various summer adventures and a return to the Houses—but I hope we can stay in touch. I am so grateful for the chance I have had to participate in your journey, and thank you warmly for your incredible company and all you have taught me.

As ever,

Tom Dingman
Dean of Freshmen
Harvard College