Dear Graduates,

As Al Gore recently noted, sometimes it’s just “time to go.” And so it is for each of you now. For all of you personally, it is my wish that your years at Yale serve you well throughout the rest of your lives. It is also my prayer that you enjoy good health, exciting career possibilities, the company of family and friends, and the best opportunities that our great nation has to offer.

It is also my hope that the last four years will have made apparent to each of you the responsibilities and opportunities of community. In our lives we are enriched by the company of others. The strength of our work, the breadth of our creativity, and the quality of our play are all made better by the company of and collaboration with each other. Living in New Haven, it is hard to ignore or be unaffected by your neighbors. This is as it should be. Community and interaction with each other completes and makes whole each of us.

As with all things valuable and cherished, there comes responsibility. I urge you to continue to be joiners and questioners. Be part of whatever place you live. Don’t just show up — join up and engage. Reach out to those around you, including those whose lives and existence may not be readily apparent in the routine of your lives. Let your years here at Yale and in New Haven serve to recall that our lives’ great joys and challenges are always best shared.

As you will always be part of this University, so too will you always be part of this city. Whatever we are and may be, you have helped shape us. To all of you, every best wish — and may God bless each of you.