Class President Dedication

By Bowdoin News
Senior Class President Cheng Xing 23. Dedication address at 2023 commencement.

Members of the Bowdoin community, esteemed faculty, proud parents, and most importantly, my fellow members of the Class of 2023, we stand here today, as graduates, yes, but more importantly, as individuals fundamentally transformed.

Think back to when we first set foot on Bowdoin. I, for one, came in, wide-eyed, convinced I was going to be a STEM major. Well, Bowdoin had other ideas, presented me with a buffet of undiscovered flavors that I could not resist trying. Before I knew it, I was snapping photos like crazy, immersed in the world of art history, and completely hooked on dissecting film masterpieces in the cinema studies class. And even track and field, a sphere I thought I knew well, became a transformative journey.

My teammates, past captains, and coaches opened my eyes to the fact that it wasn't just about how many feet I could long jump. It was about fostering the sense of team, a family, that keeps us going when the finish line seems miles away, developing the resilience to push past the toughest moments, and growing into a leader who can inspire a collective spirit.

My Bowdoin journey, however, isn't just about switching majors or discovering the art in a cup of coffee. It's about the unexpected connections we've found between seemingly disparate fields, the new passions ignited, and most importantly, the new lenses through which we've learned to view the world. Bowdoin, in its wisdom, has championed the belief that education is not just about acing your major or spending late nights in the library. Although that would be nice and can be necessary. It's about learning to see the world through different lenses, finding connections between seemingly disparate fields, and discovering new passions.

Yes, it might have led to some eccentric behaviors, like obsessively reading science journals to understand the chemistry of the extraction method for the perfect espresso. But it's this spirit of exploration that Bowdoin has instilled in us – one we'll carry into the future. Our time here has been more than an academic journey. It has been a transformative period of personal growth.

Bowdoin didn't just fill our heads with knowledge; it pushed us, nurtured us, let us fall, and helped us get back up, shaping us into global citizens ready to listen, question, empathize, and actively contribute to our world. We now stand at the threshold of a new chapter. We are no longer the people we were when we first arrived. We have been transformed, our perspectives broadened, our understanding deepened, our experiences enriched.