Tori Murden McClure, Spalding President
President McClure

President Tori Murden McClure (Photo: Lightspeed Productions)

Spalding University held its annual Commencement ceremonies June 1-3, 2023, with President Tori Murden McClure delivering an address to the graduates. Her speech also included her annual list of maxims titled, “10 Things That I Think I Know.”

As I wind this up, it is my job to fill your head with platitudes—one or two of which you might actually remember. Socrates said, “All I know is that I know nothing.” I will freely admit don’t know anything for sure, but, I will end with ten things that I think I know:

1. Silence is golden, and, if silence should fail you, duct tape is silver.

2. It is never wrong to do the right thing, but that does not make it easy.

3. Road blocks only block the road … they do not block the grass, the path, the water, or the way less traveled … road blocks just block the road.

4. It is never too late to have a happy childhood … I have had several … I have many more planned. Or the corollary, I may grow old, but I will never be old enough to know better.

5. After a wrong turn, a step backward is a step in the right direction.

6. Learn from the mistakes of others, you cannot live long enough to make them all yourselves.
a) Or the corollary, it is difficult to become old and wise if you are not first young and stupid.
b) There are gradations of stupid: stupid, level one gets you heart, stupid level two gets others hurt, stupid level three involves police and lawyers and you might never own your own home.
c) Avoid all levels of stupid that begin with the phrase, “Hey hold my beer ‘nd watch ‘this.”

7. Do not burn bridges. Just loosen the bolts a little each day.

8. If you have to keep something that you are doing a secret … then perhaps you should not be doing it.

9. Is an important one for university presidents, don’t take yourself too seriously … no one else does

10. Do not believe everything you think. Or as Socrates said, “all I know is that I know nothing.”

I have tremendous confidence that when you leave Spalding as alumni you will go out. You will teach, heal, feed, and build. You will inform, advocate, comfort, and guide. You will criticize, organize, contribute and in a hundred other ways, you will serve people and causes. You do you.