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Posted by: Date: May 27, 2012 In: ,
PLU President Loren J . Anderson congratulates Mycall Ford ’12 at the Spring Commencement in the Tacoma Dome on Sunday.

PLU President Loren J . Anderson congratulates Mycall Ford ’12 at the Spring Commencement in the Tacoma Dome on Sunday. More than 650 graduates received degrees at the annual ceremony. Anderson leaves PLU this week after 20 years of service. (Photo by John Froschauer)

Pay attention…be astonished…tell about it, Anderson tells graduates

By Barbara Clements, University Communications

In his last address as the president of Pacific Lutheran University, Loren J. Anderson told the 680 assembled master’s and bachelor’s graduates to practice the attitude of gratitude, courage and wonder.

President Loren J. Anderson enters the Tacoma Dome to give his last commencement address on Sunday, May 27, 2012. (Photo by John Froschauer)

President Loren J. Anderson enters the Tacoma Dome to give his last commencement address on Sunday, May 27, 2012. (Photo by John Froschauer)

Counting himself as an honorary Class of 2012 graduate- Anderson retires May 31 after 20 years of service to PLU – he acknowledged that stepping out beyond the “Lutedome” can be unsettling and and anxious times for graduates who ranged in age on Sunday from 20 to 65. Make that 66, Anderson laughed, if you count him into the mix.

He encouraged the assembled graduates, along with the thousands of family members who packed the Tacoma Dome Sunday, to view life with gratitude, “which will make sense of our past, bring peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” He reminded the graduates that they have all been nurtured and loved by a village “that cares for you deeply and to whom you matter greatly.”

On the topic of wonder, he quoted poet Rainier Maria Rilke in saying “have patience’s (and) love the questions, and live the questions now, then someday, far in the future, you will…live your way into the answer.” And finally, Anderson addressed the topic of courage. In this topic, he turned to the late Steve Jobs, who noted in his now-famous 2005 Stanford University address that “your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life…Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

This thought segued into poet Mary Oliver’s poem called “Sometimes,” where Anderson reminded graduates to pay attention, be astonished…and tell about it.”

For a full text of Anderson’s speech, click here. To view the PLU Twitter feed, which was dedicated Sunday to congratulations by supporters to the Class of 2012, click here.