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Josephine Sophia White Griffing

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Josephine Sophia White Griffing (December 18, 1814—February 18, 1872) was an American reformer who campaigned against slavery and for women's rights. She was born in Hebron, Connecticut on December 18, 1814 but later settled in Litchfield, Ohio. There she worked as a lecturer for the Western Anti-Slavery Society and Ohio Women's Rights Association. At the end of the American Civil War she moved to Washington, D.C., to help work with the unemployed freedmen. Much of her work was done through the Freedmen's Bureau, where she worked as an assistant to the assistant commissioner and as an agent. Griffing was also active in several women's rights organizations. She died in Washington, D.C. on February 18, 1872.

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  • Amherst College Commencement, 2017
  • Sac State Commencement - Spring 2016 - College of Health and Human Services

Transcription

Will the sheriff give us order. Will all those, here assembled for the 196 commencement, of Amherst College, please be in order. Thank you to Mallorie Chernin and the chorus. Congratulations, you may be seated Congratulations to begin to Wei Sun Christianson, our Honorary Marshal for today. She is a member of Amherst class of 1985 and mother of Neil Christensen, who is graduating today. As a member of the class of 2017, congratulations. And thanks to our Sheriff who came out of retirement to be part of our ceremony today. And now, will all parents, stepparents, guardians, grandparents, great grandparents, siblings, spouses, aunts, uncles, friends and supporters please rise. On behalf of the graduates, we give thanks to those of you who have stood beside and behind them for so many years to make this day possible. Thank you all. And thank you for being here for those family members who are not able to be here because of visa problems or for other reasons. We hope that the live streaming will work for you. Will the faculty please rise. Thank you for your recognition of the scholars and teachers, the extraordinary scholars and teachers of Amherst College. You can be seated. Please join me in thanking the dedicated and excellent staff of Amherst College, with whom I am proud to serve as colleague, and who have made this day possible. Thank you to our staff. We now honor members of the class of 2017 who have achieved particular distinction in their four years at Amherst. The Obed Finch Slingerland Memorial Prize is awarded by the trustees of Amherst College to a member of the senior class who has shown by determination and accomplishment, the greatest appreciation and desire for a college education. And this year's prize will be divided between two students. Beselot Birhanu and Amir Denzel Hall. Please come forward. Please come forward. The woods Travis Prize, an annual gift in memory of Josiah Woods of Enfield, Massachusetts, and Charles beat Travis of the class of 1864, is awarded for outstanding excellence in culture and faithfulness to duty as a scholar. This year's prize is awarded to Yen Nhi Truong Vu. And now it is my great pleasure to introduce the senior who was chosen by you, the class of 2017, to address you this morning. He is a Amir Hall who graduates today with a major in English. Amir is from Trinidad and Tobago. Amir. Good morning. Where do you come from and how did you arrive? These are two questions at one of my favorite poets Bhanu Kapil asks in her poem, 12 questions. to help with this question I'll begin with a story. One evening when my parents picked me up from school I got into the backseat of the car and fell asleep promptly, among the bags of groceries that they must have bought along the way. When we got home I was awakened by my mother opening the back doors. It was then that I felt my father's hand slipping underneath me. One cradling my head and the other just underneath my legs. He nestled me in one arm and he took a grocery bag in the other. "My baby tired?" he asked. I really only responded by borrowing my head into his shoulder. I I woke up when I felt myself falling onto my bed. Between my barely opened eyes I could see my father letting the wind unfurl the sheets above me, so that they fell on my body without a whisper. Mummy, who's tuning in right now shout outs, was the sole onlooker at my bedroom door. I was 14 This is where I come from. My father's arms, my mother's gaze and the comfort of their sheets. Upon your arrival here in our first year I'm sure you had some idea of where you came from, yeah. And when I recently asked graduating seniors about where they came from the answers varied. Some said my mother's womb. Some said Abuja in Nigeria. Well, one one prison did. Hey! Columbia, Maryland and the public school in Cleveland. These communities we come from were also our means of arrival to to the hills of Amherst. We all can think of people from those communities and those schools that have helped us on our trajectory here. Many of those people are sitting behind you today, for one last time, and for the first time for some of us, they are here to help you pack your clothes fold your bedding and begin the next segment of your journey. Ten years down the line when someone asks where do you come from, Amherst College will be added to the long list of places that you name. You will undoubtedly remember this quad, frisbee colonized as it is. Our Lord and Savior the moose. What happened to Pete? The eerie lights of Merrell after midnight. And the always awkward Val. When someone asks how did you arrive, hopefully you will remember the people you met here who helped carry you along the way. Siana McCall in her speech at senior assembly spoke of one spoke of one of her favorite professors here. Professor Cobham-Sander. And the indelible impact that that professor made on her life. At the end of my first semester here, Professor Cobham-Sander invited our class over for dinner. I didn't go because I had struggled that semester and performed poorly in her class, and I was too ashamed. I slept instead of going to her house and later, I received a text from one of the members of the class, letting me know that professor had sent some home-cooked food for me in Tupperware. Four classes and many home-cooked meals later, professor Cobham-Sander has been at every corner and every crossroad and sometimes I think she actually knows my future. And is just telling me how to get to it. When I think of how I arrived here I think of faculty and staff members, like her, who have carried me through some of the most tough experiences that I could have had. I also think of students who carry each other on this campus in significant ways. One notable example was Amherst Uprising, organized by Lerato Teffo , Sanyu Takirambudde, and Katyana Dandridge. What began as solidarity began to become a space of vulnerability. When people of color began sharing their own experiences with racism here on campus. We listened to each other and in so doing were reminded that Amherst College had a lot of of work to do to support its students of color. During that weekend we began that work. On the third day of a Amherst uprising I stood in awe in the lobby of the library as groups of folks composing staff, students and faculty, brainstormed what initiatives might help address the needs that we had identified. What amazed me was that we were all there. Although the movement was student-led, it wasn't students against administration or students against faculty. Each group was there and invested in making the college better. Even then we were a community carrying each other. In addition to the big things, like engaging in on campus activism, we will also remember the smaller more tender carryings. Like my first year roommate Kendall Sims, who always shared his chocolate milk with me, or that one time I didn't pack any of my room, until the day before I had to leave the country. Lola Fadulu led a whole group of my closest friends, in effort to pack my room and hence save my life. Today we celebrate the friends who put that garbage bin and bottle of water beside your bed. mmm-hmm Remember that friend that Facebook messaged you about the homework assignment that was due the next day? We remember the friends that ventured into the socials with you, against all their better judgment. And remember the friends that brought you Val, when Val was too much. 3 much. Did you all get it? And those who sent texts to remind you that you could do it. When my father passed away, in the spring of my junior year, this community did not falter. Recent alumni, professors and staff members called and emailed to offer their condolences. Many of you graduating seniors also reached out. Nayah Mullings was the first person I called, Barely awake she held me in the best ways that she knew. Bese Birhanu call that evening too. And willfully bore my pain with me. George Ward sent an email, in which he said, though we are an ocean apart I am here for you. What George said illustrates a unique truth about that experience for me. The Amherst College community took me through one of the most difficult experiences of my life. Even when I was not physically here. What this shows is the community to extend beyond these physical peripheries. After today we will not be here we will be miles or even oceans apart, but I am certain that this community will hold you all the way. The folks sitting next to you, in front of you, join the immense crowd sitting behind you in the efforts to carry you through this life. On behalf of our class I would like to thank those people and communities we came from, for bringing us to the hills of Amherst. You have made sacrifices, you have scolded us and you have offered us praise. Those of you here and those of you who couldn't make it, #mom, I thank you. I would also like to thank the people we met here at Amherst College who have carried us through our four years here. I speak of the staff and faculty. Those who got extra sauce for my rice. As you know, I need sauce. Those who stayed late in office hours, cried with us and sought to teach us. Thank you. And we cannot speak of carrying if we do not speak of the women, especially black, queer women, in the class who have done the bulk of the emotional and organizational work that brought us to this place. Thank you. And lastly, I invite us the class of 2017 to extend our thanks to each other. We have won and lost games, danced and sung and submitted papers late with each other. Sometimes all in the same day. It's very true. And when someone asks you where you come from, know that you came from Amherst College, and that Amherst College has given you this community. These are the people who will stand at your wedding altars and come to your book signings. They will text with you through boring meetings at work. They will attend your future graduations. They will definitely send you memes, and they will spoil your children. Like my father carrying me at 14 years old you're stuck with them. They will be here for you and we will carry each other through. Thank you And now it's my pleasure to announce the Phoebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore teaching awards. Each year Amherst College honors three outstanding high school teachers, who have made a difference in the lives of members of the graduating class. these teachers have challenged and inspired our students, they've helped to bring them where they are today. They've carried them. As I read your names I'd like to ask the teachers and their student nominators to rise and be recognized. The first recipient Daniel Adler, for his work Daniel, Where, there's Daniel. Daniel Adler is being recognized and celebrated for his work as a geometry, economics and government teacher, at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, in Long Beach California. Nominated by Jamie Gracie. Thank you. Jamie and Daniel Congratulations.R. Nicole Gharda. For her work as an English teacher at Ernest Mcbride Senior High School, in Long Beach California. Nominated by Irma Zamora. Please stand and congratulate Nicole Gharda. And Elisa Murphy, class of 94, Biology teacher from the Spence School in New York. Nominated by three of our seniors. Noel Grisanti, Caitlin Merrell and Olivia Penny. Thank you for all you do. Thank goodness for great teachers. I'm delighted to present the medal for eminent service. The medal has been awarded by Amherst College since 1934. And this year's distinction goes to a member of the class of 1988, Catherine Chia. Cathy would you come forward. Cathy, in the 29 years since you graduated from Amherst College you have achieved success in the field of architecture, while consistently giving back to your alma mater as a trustee, class president, reunion chair, campaign volunteer, pathways mentor and many other volunteer roles. You have been a model of inspiration, effectiveness and selflessness. Your commitment to education extends to your professional affiliations in architecture and design, and your investment in Amherst has created tremendous opportunity for future generations of students. In honor of your contributions to the College, to the profession and beyond, it is my pleasure to extend to you, on behalf of Amherst College and its Board of trustees, the Medal for Eminent Service. Congratulations. And it is now my pleasure to confer honorary degrees on behalf of the college. With these honorary degrees we recognize people who have brought honor to their professions and public service, Including several of our most distinguished alumni, and others who by the conferral of this degree become alumni, of a special kind, of Amherst College. As we send new graduates, that is you, to serve in the world, we welcome Amherst's honorary graduates who are exemplary in the worlds they have already served. The first recipients is Dr. Steven Chu. Unfortunately, Dr. Chu is unable to be with us because of a serious bike accident. We want to recognize Steven Cho's extraordinary accomplishments in science. From fundamental physics to biology and energy, which have advanced research around the world. Including analysis in laboratories here on the Amherst campus. His efforts as the United States Secretary of Energy, the longest-serving secretary, and the first scientist to be a cabinet member. His efforts to educate those in power, about the perils of anthropogenic climate change, and his advocacy for renewable energy sources have made him a trailblazer for a new generation of scientific leaders. We commend his ongoing commitment to research and insight on a microscopic scale, and to sustainable energy on a global one. By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees of Amherst College, I confer upon Dr. Steven Chu the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Chu ,in person, in the coming year, and we wish him all the best. Thank you. Our second honorary degree recipient is Professor William Cronin. Bill. At a time when some questioned the value of the liberal arts, you offer moving and hopeful perspectives on education, and they parallel your groundbreaking work on the human interaction with the natural world. How we depend on ecosystems to sustain our material lives, how we modify the landscapes in which we live and work, and how are our ideas of nature shape our relationships with the world around us. Across three decades, your scholarly work has redefined the study of American environmental history. Indeed many would say that you are the founder of the field of environmental history. By virtue of the authority vested in me, by the Board of Trustees of Amherst College, I confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. Please join me in congratulating William Cronin. Esther Duflo. Esther, we honor and celebrate your many contributions to the field of economics, your guidance in helping governments and aid organizations redefine their practices, and the resulting impact you and your colleagues have had in improving the lives of the poor and addressing poverty around the world. The fearlessness of your creative data-driven approach, and the interdisciplinary collaborations that you foster are an inspiration to students to researchers, and to everyone else around the globe. By virtue of the authority vested in me, by the Board of Trustees of Amherst College, I confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. Thank you for all you do. Join me in congratulating Esther Duflo. Yanira Castro Negroni. Over 20 years you have achieved the extraordinary in the world of dance and performance art. With inspired determination and vision, you have created important, nuanced and timely works of art and audience engagement of a novel sort. The richly new and nuanced projects of your group, a canary torsi, are mesmerizing and evocative. You are rightfully recognized for the rigor of your bold creative collaborations. In youth you were inspired and molded by women within your own family, and then at Amherst, and today your commitment to mentorship of students within the Five-Colleges serves as a model for new generations of artists. Thank you for all you do. By virtue of the authority vested in me, by the Board of Trustees of Amherst College, I confer upon you the degree Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. Please join me in congratulating Yanira. That was from the woman who told me I had mispronounced her name last night. Barrett Rollins, as chief, Barrett, Dr. Barrett Rollins, as Chief Scientific Officer, at Dana-Farber, you are fostering a collaborative culture of rigorous inquiry and cancer research. Your work on the Profile Project, places you on the cutting edge of understanding the clinical and research impact of precision medicine. As a result, your contributions continue to change outcomes for patients around the world. Through innovative scientific collaborations you are building meaningful and effective partnerships across disciplines, serving as an example to students and faculty at your own alma mater, Amherst College and far beyond. By virtue of the authority vested in me, by the Board of Trustees of Amherst College, I confer upon you the degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. Thank you for all you do and congratulations. Peter Rubenstein. For half a century your life's work has embodied what we at Amherst, and all who strive to build communities everywhere hope to do. Go far beyond tolerance to respect and dialogue across difference and you exemplify how that work can happen in some of the most complex conversations. Your passionate commitment to moving communities, toward acceptance for difference of faith, marks a deep contribution to religious thinking. A life devoted to taking down walls and building understanding is one we deeply honor. VBy virtue of the authority vested in me, by the Board of Trustees of Amherst College, I confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. pPlease join me in congratulating Rabbi Peter Rubinstein. Thank You Mallory in the choral society for that beautiful rendition. Well class of 2017, congratulations. Let me wait just a moment for for the rest of the class to get your seats. it's not that easy to find the right chair. Okay. In just a few minutes, in just a little bit, each one of you is going to walk across this stage to receive your diploma, and I have enjoyed signing all 482 of them. It takes a while and sometimes I forget how to do the 2 "Ds" in Biddy and have to do them over, but I really love this part of the ritual. I like to read each of your names. I like to say your name silently, to myself I'm taken by the beauty of the many languages, the many places and the many cultures from which you arrived here and by who you are as people. Going through one at a time gives me a chance to think about you. Your achievements and distinctions are far too numerous to list. Your greatest achievement, I'm sure is the learning and growing you've done with one another. Of the kind that Amir has spoken of so beautifully. Among you there are a significant number of national scholarship winners. Of the 16 Fulbright's won by Amherst students this year, 12 of you are walking today. You will be doing teaching and research in countries all over the world. Amherst was the only college or university in the United States to have three winners of the coveted Watson fellowships. And the three of you who received those fellowships will travel widely and study the musical cultures of muslim-majority communities. Tomal. Women's experience of motherhood in situations of dislocation and statelessness, Gingin. masquerade performance in West Africa, Sheila. Among the things I most admire about you is the way you support one another. After senior assembly a number of faculty members, and administrators and staff commented on how loud your applause and also your shoutouts were as the senior assembly prizes were announced. You have done a very great deal to build community and build institutions here at Amherst. Again, far too much for me to mention. Two of you, for a few examples, two of you established an organization for first-generation students and you, you did it four years ago when you were first-year students. Sophie Delfeus and Micah Stewart, thank you. Kim Greenberg and Elizabeth White created the Association of Women in Science. mentoring program. Sam Chen worked to ensure there was programming and space on campus for our military veterans.Thank you, Sam. La Causa's programming across the campus, in the Five-College area has been greatly enhanced by the creativity of Irma Zamora. Jamie Sandal has created what Paul Gallegos calls, "one of the wonder pockets talent across the campus." Another of those pockets, of course, is in dance and I am thinking in particular of DESAC. Amherst's dance and step group, whose spectacular performances have just celebrated their 15th year at Amherst College. You have carried forward Amherst's long-standing commitment to writing and to the freedom to write, to express yourselves and to take issue. Not just with the administration, sometimes also with one another. Two of you started your own radio show on WAMH. Christine and Kristen. There are so many other things to mention and you will have to forgive me for choosing only a few. Ultimate Frisbee, I'm very proud to say, is ranked fourth in the nation heading into this weekend's nationals.last year's women's ultimate team made it to Nationals. During your four years our athletics teams won twelve NESCAC titles and three national championships in men's soccer, men's tennis and women's basketball. So many of you have worked so hard to change what needs to be changed at the college, and you've shown that it can ultimately bring people together rather than driving them apart. That work is not yet done but you have contributed enormously to it. And while you've been it and while you've been doing that the world has changed in very significant ways. And those changes in the world you enter, are economic technologica,l socia,l political, cultural, and they are only going to accelerate with automation driving the speed of change. automation will increase efficiency and it will bring other gains, no doubt. It will also continue to displace human beings and change the nature of work. You who have been schooled in the liberal arts and in the arts of human friendship will be the ones to help create, not only new jobs, but I think, a new relationship to work itself. You've talked about that, over and over, while you've been here. Changing the relationship to work, finding moments of stillness, reflecting on what matters. What is the use of your liberal arts education in a world of such uncertainty and change. You know that people have wondered, literally, for hundreds of years whether the liberal arts will survive and whether they're useful or not. Now they're going to ask whether the liberal arts can survive automation. and the answer is a clear yes. Liberal arts education is the form of education best suited to uncertainty and change. Why? Because it fosters intellectual versatility and it teaches a range of approaches to solving problems. It's purpose has never been to prepare people for a specific job, that may well disappear, or for a career that could change dramatically. Its purpose is to promote freedom of thought and the discipline and dogged pursuit of truth. Truth matters. (applause) Thank you. No less visible a businessman than Mark Cuban has added his name to the list of leaders who have embraced the liberal arts. Just two or three days ago, he said: "I personally think there's going to be a greater demand, over the next 10 years, for liberal arts majors." when asked about finance and programming. He added that automation will produce plenty of data, but can't in itself provide a different view of the data, different perspectives on it. Automation may empty out the human at one level, but it's going to require all of us on another. It will be important, says Mr. Cuban, to have "freer thinkers" than those trained for specific jobs. Among the majors he cites as being desirable in the next 10 years: English and Philosophy... ...and also the Sciences the Social Sciences, the Computer Sciences, but as an English major I felt I had to point out those two. Listen, the creativity he has in mind, that he thinks the world of work needs and that the world in general needs, is not based in particular majors or disciplines. It's in the liberal arts taken as a whole and in the learning that occurs, when human beings from different backgrounds, with different perspectives come together, face to face, and learn from each other. As it happens, This is an experience and a set of skills-- listening coming together, being face to face with one another--- that is sorely lacking in our democracy right now. The kinds of exchanges to which you aspire, to which we've aspired here, and try to practice-- we don't always practice with perfect success-- but they can be a model for public discourse. And so residential liberal arts education has not only economic, or even indicatively economic benefits, it has political and ethical ones. The seniors that have spoken on your behalves--- Amir today, Tess and Rihanna at senior assembly, Have all given moving testimony to the importance of our presence to one another and to friendship Friendship seems to be the theme for you. In your wonderfully humorous ways you've reminded us of the Faculty's high expectations and their scolding, but also of their intense engagement with you and their devotion to you. Their friendship. You've all celebrated your relationships with one another, as the things that got you through, not just your academic work, but some of the more difficult experiences that any one of us can have in our lives. It's not possible actually to automate those relationships, or the values that you exemplify and describe. Friendship flows from the kinds of humanity that education is meant to foster, and its value is incalculable, completely inefficient, and absolutely essential to individual flourishing and the health of communities. But in order for friendship to operate fully and fruitfully in the public sphere and not just in the private sphere, we have to broaden what we mean by that term. It can't just be about seeking comfort, or about gravitating toward those who are familiar to us or with whom we already agree. It has to encompass relationships of respect, understanding, and even affection between people who differ; and working together in good faith across those differences towards solutions to the complex problems we face, is what we must all redouble our efforts to do. This is a harder form of friendship; it can also be the most rewarding. It's certainly the most necessary, right now. tThe philosopher Hannah Arendt urges us to understand the political importance of friendship. The world we have in common, the public world in common, unlike private friendships, she says and I quote, "remains inhuman in a very literal sense unless it is constantly talked about by human beings." And here's a quote I offered to you on the night after the election: "The world is not humane just because it is made by human beings, and it does not become humane just because the human voice sounds in it, but only when it has become the object of discourse," and I would add honest disagreement The significance of her point is apparent today in a world of serial monologues, talking heads repeating themselves over and over, and hate-filled rants, a world that is short on talk of partnership for the public good. Our studies in history and philosophy, in literature and politics, in every discipline, have shown that there can be no true civic life, there can be no true public life, and no democracy without friendship in this sense. Many of you have worked hard to ensure that Amherst lives up to its value on friendship as an ideal. The uprising has had many positive effects, and many lasting ones. Among them, a lesson in the importance of listening. It also had the effect of showing how dependent we are on each other, to help see what we otherwise simply cannot see, or won't see, to understand what we don't yet understand, to appreciate which we have not yet learned to appreciate, Friendship allows us to correct one another without giving offence, when it's real friendship. Friends give one another the benefit of the doubt and we can all learn to be more forgiving. Friendship also observes limits. It doesn't allow us to do or say just anything we want. We know about our friends what might be helpful and what would cause pain. And that knowledge and the use of discretion make it possible to help one another grow, improve and love. And discretion, not so highly value these days, is a key to democracy. Friendship requires listening, taking genuine interest, making time, being with one another, simply being with one another, when it's hard. It means being open to disagreement, being eager to repair rifts when they occur. We do this with each other every day, everywhere on this campus in conversation. And genuine learning is structured to a very great degree in face-to-face conversation. It is structured here, and it is important that we make conversation a laboratory in democratic give-and-take. I believe in the promise of residential liberal arts education because I know, on a private level, that friendship makes our lives worth living. But also because we see that the absence of friendship, as a public good, the full engagement of human beings with one another, in the public sphere, in all our diversity. We see that this absence threatens the principles that support democracy. A community that does not know how to practice the arts of friendship, that believes it has nothing in common but division, and nothing to gain from conversation is not community ,and it probably can't be a country either. Rigid divisions and the license to demean and dehumanize people on the so-called other side can eradicate our grounding principles, our sense of shared purpose, our hope of collaboration, and our faith. We need to practice forms of friendship that match the complexity of the world and can address its complex problems. And so, it matters that all of you use your heads and your hearts to find a basis for genuine connection, not only with whom you're familiar and with whom you agree, but with those who differ. One of today's honorees, William Cronin, has argued that, "liberal education aspires to nurture the growth of human talent in the service of human freedom." And, in his essay entitled, "Only Connect... The Goals of Liberal Education," he gives substance to that definition by listing the ten qualities he most admires in the people who exemplified the values of liberal arts education. I'll give you the first three qualities he most admires in people who exemplify those values. The first one is, they listen and they hear. It's as simple as that. The second one is, they read and they understand. The third one is, they can talk with anyone. And it has never been more important that we be able to talk with anyone. "I think it's worth declaring, he says, that educated people know how to pay attention-- to others and to the world around them. They can follow an argument, track logical reasoning, detect illogic, hear the emotions that lie behind the logic and the illogic, and ultimately empathize with the person who is feeling those emotions." All these capacities are indispensable for informed and engaged citizenship. They are far too little in evidence today. The tenth on the ten qualities Cronin lists as those he most admires, are the power and the wisdom to connect, He argues freedom serves the purpose of connection as much as connection serves the purpose of freedom. Finally, in an argument that seems more controversial today, than it did in 1998, when he when he published his essay. He suggests "that Liberty is not about thinking or saying or doing whatever we want. It is about exercising our freedom in such a way as to make a difference in the world and make a difference for more than just ourselves. Liberal education, he concludes, is the foundation that allows us to grow beyond ourselves and do this good work." We celebrate you today, your love of learning, your cultivation of friendship and all that you've contributed to Amherst College. I thank you for those contributions. I hope you'll continue to make your voices heard, that you'll elevate the kinds of conversations you have with one another onto a more public stage, and that the friendships you've made here will sustain you after you leave today. I beg of you do not yield to hopelessness or despair. The fact that we cannot take for granted the things that we would all probably like to be able to assume. The fact that we are seeing the fragility of human bonds, of democratic processes and of the earth itself, has to be seen as an opportunity for people like you to provide the change that will help us through. I end as I always do with a really short poem by the American poet, A.R. Emmons it's called "Salute." May happiness pursue you, Catch you often, and, should it lose you, be waiting ahead, making a clearing for you. Congratulations and thank you very much. Will the candidates for the degree Bachelor of Arts please come forward. Alifayaz A. Abdulzahir Mbatang Desmond Acha Megan Kathleen Adamo Hamzah Ahmed Alison Elizabeth Ahn Daniel D. Ahn Simone Tess Aisiks Christopher Lee Albanese Zeina Amhaz Kazuha Aoki Justin Takeya Aoyama Anna Maral Apffel Araceli Aponte Kathryn Adedoyin Ariyibi Andrew Sinek Arnaboldi David Virgintino Atkins Mehar Singh Bains Grant Jared Baker Christopher John Baldi Margaret Katherine Banks Darya Barshak in absentia Cameron Ericson Bean Brian John Beaty Jordan Alec Bekenstein Anica Martinez Benia Lauren St. Clair Benjamin Daniella Juanita Bennett Alex Anthony Berluti Thomas Reid Berman Md Alauddin Bhuiyan Fraser Malcolm Watt Binns Beselot Birhanu Karen Kelley Blake Devin Thomas Boehm Anthony Albert Bongiorno IV Molly Pearl Borden Amita Bose Connolly Catherine Bottum Rachel Doris Boyette Evan Alden Boynton Olivia Simone Brayer Katherine Clarke Bres John Harrison Brody Clarque Marlana Brown Jawaun Tyrique Brown Rebecca S. Brown Jordan Angel Kat Browning Nicole Ann Bryson in absentia Jacqueline Marie Buechler Alina Michaella Burke Claire Frances Cagnassola Thais Calderon Haley Lyon Cambra Patrick Curran Lucey Canfield Anqi Cao in absentia Madison Rose Carbone Claire Lyons Carpenter Lauren Brittany Carter Sarah Elizabeth Carter Michael Charles Castiglie Wai Cheung Chan William Parker Chapman Robert Chen in absentia Samuel Joseph Chen Karthik Sevugan Chetty Eric Cheung Matthew Junyoung Choi Alexander Li-Deh Chou Neil Jon Christianson Rebecca Heart Chun Sophie Jiyae Chung Bryce Ciambella in absentia Martha Kathryn Coacher Margaret Rosales Cody Daniella Claret Colombo Eric Benson Conklin Molly Rose Connelly Kevin Mateo Connors Felix German Contreras-Castro Aaron Arthur Cooper-Lob Carina Brianne Corbin Pascual Cortes-Monroy Edwards Diana Mabel Cricien Gonzalo Agustin Crivelli Christine Ayanna Croasdaile Katarina Ivette Cruz Padilla Sara Jane Culhane Brian William Curcio in absentia Adelyn Kathleen Curran Sophie Austin Currin Arian Dalipi Marguerite O'Toole Danner Greyson Saren Deardorff Stephanie Danielle Declue Ricardo Alejandro De La Torre Sophie Victoria Delfeus Emera De Los Santos Anna Isabelle Derber Luka Matej Devenica Christopher Mark Dewaele Alexander Douglas Dick Je'on Marie Domingue Sharline Dominguez Alison Hampton Doswell Meredith King Doswell Bonnie Temple Drake Alexander Yost Dreisbach Andrew John Drinkwater Larissa Alexandra Duff Claire Virginia Duncan Shirley Judith Duquene Audrey Marie Duquette Gabrielle Joy Edzie Uzoma Chigoziem Egbuchulam Darian Ehsani Kenton Prescott Eliot Adam Blake Ellison Anna Matilda Epstein John Henry Erdman III Denise Escovar Sergio Espinosa Schettini Yuna Frances Evans Lolade Fadulu Jesse Michael Fajnzylber Robyn Ashleyann Farley Alex Farthing Samuel Jacob Feldman Sarah Marissa Felleman Siyu Feng in absentia Kyle Logan Ferendo in absentia Benjamin Zachary Fiedler Jessie Leeanne Fields Mariela Figueroa Lam Liam Alexander Fine Emily Nelson Fitts Stephany Zulin Flores-Ramos Bronwen Emily Foreman Alexandra Elizabeth Foster JoDeanne Bethia Francis Danielle Erin Fregia Rosemary Alice Frehe Henry Graham Frentzel Teresa Jacquelin Frenzel Sarah Deli Frohman Myles Owen Gaines Jose David Galvis Samuel Grant Geddie David Christopher George Zakiy Salahadin Gharad Jordan Joseph Giampa Juliana Bess Glasser in absentia Isa Elana Goldberg Kevin Craig Goldberg Elizabeth Gonzalez Rosemary González Mantuano Emily Margaret Goore Savanna Patricia Gornisiewicz Nicole Merrill Wilson Gould Jamie Rose Gracie Paul Michael Gramieri Mickhale Davoy Green in absentia Yvonne Patricia Green Kimberly Kate Greenberg Alexandra Noël Fawbush Grisanti Monique Danielle Grocia Destin Groff Michael James Matthew Groot Angelina Ying Guan Soham Gupta Matthew Robert Gustafson Connor Angus Andrews Haley Amir Denzel Hall Taylor Elizabeth Hallowell Gregory Han Christina Anne Hansen Griffin Aaron Harris Emma Claire Hartman Hadley Conner Heinrich Ashlyn Meade Heller Joshua Hernandez Angela Esperanza Hernandez Veloza Kiana Steffe Herold Hannah Gabriela Herrera Camille Marie Herzog Emily Dunbar Hester Carey Hiuhu Austin Saotung Ho Christopher McGraw Hodge Brady E Holding Isaiah LáMone Holloway, Jr. Lauren Subira Horn Emily Rose Horwitz Tomal Mahmud Hossain Cassandra Hradil Patricia Wei Huang Jennifer Emilia Hugg Bellenden Ian Hutcheson Ha Ram Hwang Mohammed Yasir Ibrahim Kasia McKinda Ifill Scarlet Sun Im Candice Nicole Jackson Raheem Devante Jackson Douglass Hale Jamison Khishigsuren Jargalsaikhan Azka Javaid Elaine Jeon Joshua Jiang Janna Amira Joassainte Paul Stephen Johnson, Jr. Carlos Allyn Johnson-Cruz Natalie Pei Shang Jones Shaunpaul Steven Jones Jeremy Michael Jorden Kyle Ian Josias in absentia Nicholas James Kafker Brian Heflin Kane Samuel Daesun Kang Kelci E Keeno David Austin Keith Stephanie Rachel Kelemen Nicholas Scott Kelly Katherine Shipley Kent Tiffany Alyssa Kha Caleb Chan Hyung Ki Matthew Louis Killian Andrew Yong Kim Ayoung Kim Jennifer Yeon Kim Kyung-Sik Kim Mindy Minjeong Kim Minjee Kim Sun Jae Kim Barrett Peterson King Caroline Susannah Kinsley Jordan Nicholas Klein in absentia Gloria Koh Joslyn Ha Kong Samuel Korntner Rashid Louay Kosber Szu-Raj Kothari Hanna Schaumburg Krueger Kelly Krugman Caroline Mary Kusiak Robert Siwon Kwark Michael George Kwong Malinda Lee Labriola Nicholas Jacob Lafky Kamaria Aisha Thomas Laing David Abraham Gabriel Natan Lander Henry Neuborne Landis David Allan Lane Henry Rene Laney David Quoc Le Austin Colby Lee Eugene Kyu-In Lee Grace J. Lee Levi Lee Sol Lee Terry Lee Jackson Robert Lehnhart Cara Marie Lembo Brittanie Larie Lewis Jia Ying Liang Zixi Liang Cosette Rhae Lias Alexis Hope Ligon Hutomo Jayaadmaja Limanto Sidney Lin Winnie W Liu George Edward Long III Danae Lopez Diana Maria Lopez Karinne Chandler Lorig Pierre-Alexander Dewindt Low Catherine Bowman Lowdon Linda Lu Steven Michael Lucey Victoria Jean Luizzi Charles Anthony Mack IV Jason Allen Mackie Matthew Chase Macoy Diego Daryl Magana Caroline Alexandra Magee in absentia Yewon Maing in absentia Brian Manuel Malavé Syeda Malliha Erika Faith Manley Jessica Chipo Maposa Daniel Alberto Mariselli Olivari Alena Nicole Marovitz Brennan Pierce Marsh-Armstrong Christopher Benners Martin Emily Engel Masten Seanna McCall Seanna, I called you Rihanna and I apologize forever. Paul Edward Huston McClean Kathryn Marie McHenry Sean Paul McHugh Raymond Henry Meijer Noely Berenice Mendoza Shalini Menon Dakota Marie Meredith Aleks Leon Merkovich Caitlin Skye Merrell Josephine Hyde Moore Noah Jalen Morton Rakin Muhtadi Jack Elliot K. Muller Nayah Nicole Msengi Mullings Sophie Jane Murguia Jacob Stewart Nabatoff Ian James Nañez Anthony Daniel Sanchez Narag Daniel Steven Navas William MacLennan Naylor Nathan Paul Needham Duy Nguyen Janet Nhi Nguyen Maximos Nicholas Nikitas Laura Kathleen Noerdlinger George Edward Nowotny IV John David Nurme Samantha Tatenda Nyovanie Nancy Nzeyimana Cyizere Catherine Rose O'Brien James Gordon O'Connor Niyi Obafemi Odewade Karen Onyekachi Paulys Odidika Oluwatobi Akintomiwa Oni-Orisan Andrew David Orozco Victor Ortiz Kevin Burns Overlander Orishamola Owagboriaye in absentia Melody Anne Owen Tiana Jacquelyn Palmer-Poroner Phillip Zhe Pang Keshav Pant Austin Sang Park Crystal Park Ji Hong Park Ye Eun Eunice Park Amanda Christine Patsis Reed Thomas Patterson III Jeremy Paula Kalaya Ruth Payne-Alex Reynaldo Antonio Peña Miranda Felipe De Jesus Pereira Debayle Hannah Payette Peterson Sydney Kramer Peterson Jacob Pfau Cody Wolf Pfund Pulliam Van Hong Pham Jane Abigail Pierre Olivia Louise Pinney Daniel Joseph Piscatelli Stuart Anthony Poplin, Jr. Laura Carolina Portes Jeffrey John Racy Kamini Sara Ramlakhan Saryah Ransom Thomas Bloom Raskin Jax Cooper Reiff Jaimie Kathryn Renner Aaron Caleb Resnick Andrea Theresa Rijo Daniel Paul Rivera Kali Kwaku-Kambui Robinson, Jr. Tia Imani Robinson Enrique Robles Gabriella Rodriguez Sergio Antonio Rodriguez Hannah Lani Roels Christopher Gilbert Roll Arthur Harold Roski II Jacquelyn Marie Roth Brian John Alexander Royes Rebecca Austin Ruescher David Lloyd Ruth Caitlyn Julia Ryan Emma Dallas Ryan Sameer Sabharwal-Siddiqi Valerie V. Salcido Jordan Tyran Samuels Darryl MacAraig Sanchez Hugo Sanchez William Jamison Sandel Sara Levy Schulwolf Gabriella Page Selover Ismael Sere Melissa Ann Sheth Samuel Alter Patchen Short Muling Si Samuel Alexander Silver Kendall Nathan Hughes Simms Siraj Ahmed Sindhu Forest Geronimo Sisk Mitchell Philip Skiles Adam Dimitri Smith Lindy Nicole Smith Sarah Brooke Smith Nevon Q. Song Rohan Chand Sood Stefan Patrick Soucy Anthony Joseph Spina Micah Stewart Mary Margaret Venditti Stoll Myles Pui-Kee Tang Wanjing Shelly Tang Takudzwa Donovan Trevor Tapfuma Mariajose Tarot Palma Marina Louise Tassi Yanni Anastasios Thanopoulos Robert George Thoma III Taylor Leigh Thomas Joshua Peter Thompson Evelyn Shoshelle Ting Caryce Chepchirchir Tirop Amanda Christine Tobin Megan Elise Tracy Stefanos Tran Cody Lane Tranbarger Yen Nhi Truong Vu Lauren Elizabeth Tuiskula Simon Uljarevic Ruben Dario Valera, Jr. Lana Vali Caitlin Elisa Vanderberg Andrew Mark Vandini in absentia Katherine Sanborn Ventre Lorenzo Antonio Hoppe Villegas Elaine Vilorio Jake Andrew Vitale Julia Sarah Pritzker Vlock Jackson Thomas Volle Katerina Monique Von Campe Veronica Voronina Long Viet Vu Cameron Allen Wade Rory Gilson Walsh Corry Wang David Cope Wang Derek Michael Ward George Henry Ward Christin Alexis Washington Jacob Adams Waskowitz Sydney Rhodes Watts Matthew David Weinberg Rachel Marie Welch Sarah Flannery Whelan Hunter Whitaker-Morrow Elizabeth Devlin White Nicholas Thomas Widen Derek Carlson Williams Andrew James Willis Samuel Penniman Wohlforth Samuel David Wolansky Peter Christian Woolverton Miles Anthony Wronkovich Henry Wu Kate Symington Wyeth Julie Xing Xia Qi Xie in absentia Jin Jin Xu Shengchian Olivia Xu Zachary Michael Yanes Fanhao Yang Joye Jiangyue Yang Nicole Christina Yang in absentia Joshua Schwemm Young Amanda Wendy Zalameda Irma Jesenia Zamora Fuerte Juan Manuel Zamudio, Jr. Lucas Robinson Zeller Ruobing Zhang Yujia Zhang Yi Zhou Sara ElizabetSarah Elizabeth Zuckerman Anton Zykov Will the candidates for the degree Bachelor of Arts please rise. President Martin, on behalf of the Faculty of Amherst College, it is my pleasure, honor and privilege to certify that all candidates, upon whom the faculty has voted to confer degrees, have fulfilled all the requirements for The Bachelor of Arts degree. Well then, by by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees of Amherst College, I hereby confer upon each and every one of you, the degree Bachelor of Arts with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. And I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart. And now, and now we're not done yet. We're not done yet. Another speech. No that was a joke. The audience is invited to join in the singing of the Hymn to Amherst. And you'll find the lyrics in your program. After the music I'd like to ask the members of the audience to remain in your places while the trustees, faculty invited guests and graduating seniors, graduating class, leave the quadrangle. you Will the sheriff's please bring this proceedings to a close. The 196th commencement of Amherst College is hereby adjourned. God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!

Contents

Early life

Josephine White was born in Hebron, Connecticut on December 18, 1814 into a prominent New England family. Her father, Joseph White Jr., was a representative in Connecticut's state legislature, while her mother was the sister of portrait painter Samuel Lovett Waldo. Despite the relative fame of her family, little is known of her childhood in Connecticut.[1] In 1835, at the age of twenty, Josephine married Charles Griffing, and in 1842 they moved to Litchfield, Ohio where they had five daughters. Three of them - Emma, Helen, and Josephine Cora - survived to adulthood.[1]

Abolitionist work

While living in Litchfield, the Griffings became involved with some of the radical organizations that were thriving in Ohio's Western Reserve. By 1849, both Charles and Josephine were active members of the Western Anti-Slavery Society, and by 1851 they were traveling agents, preaching "no union with slaveholders." [2] Griffing also began going on lecture tours on abolitionism throughout the West, becoming one of the most prolific anti-slavery speakers in the region. She also wrote articles for The Anti-Slavery Bugle, a newspaper published out of Salem, Ohio.[1] The Griffings opened up their home as a stop on the Underground Railroad.[1] During the Civil War, Griffing acted as the western agent for the Women's Loyal National League, a feminist organization that worked to outlaw slavery in every state.[3]

Aiding the freedpeople

During the Civil War, Griffing was struck by the plight of the recently freed slaves, especially those who were fleeing to Washington, D.C. Determined to help the freedpeople establish themselves, Griffing and her three daughters moved to Washington, D.C. in 1864, while her husband remained in Ohio. Why her husband remained behind is uncertain.[3] Griffing became an agent for the National Freedmen's Relief Association of the District of Columbia, where she opened up two industrial schools for freedwomen in order to teach them marketable skills such as sewing. These schools were also designed to inculcate freedwomen with the values of the Northern white middle class. In Griffing's words, "the Industrial School furnishes an opportunity for instruction in social science, and domestic relations, as well as the higher forms of Industry, and a marked change is observable in personal tidiness, good manners, and in the control and government of young children - whom some of the mothers are obliged to bring with them to the Rooms." [2] While in Washington, Griffing also used her political influence to lobby Congressmen for more direct aid for the formerly enslaved people of Washington.[3] Through her lobbying of Radical Republican members of Congress, such as Benjamin Wade and Charles Sumner, Griffing became instrumental in establishing the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, more commonly known as the Freedmen's Bureau.[1] In June 1865, as reward for her work in helping to create the Freedmen's Bureau, Commissioner Oliver Otis Howard appointed Griffing the assistant to the assistant commissioner for Washington, D.C.[4]

Despite Griffing's prominence in the Freedmen's Bureau, she and the male leaders of the organization often conflicted over how best to aid the freedpeople of Washington. Griffing argued that the freedpeople required direct aid, such as food, clothes, and fuel, and that the Bureau's main goals should be to provide material aid for those living in Washington. This aid, according to Griffing, was necessary for the freedpeople to become financially stable, and once that occurred they could obtain jobs and support themselves. However, men involved in freedpeople's aid organizations disagreed with Griffing's claims. They often supported the ideals of free labor; these men encouraged self-reliance and the signing of labor contracts so that freedpeople could survive financially without assistance as quickly as possible. Griffing openly spoke out about the lack of direct aid, claiming that 20,000 freedpeople in Washington, D.C. were suffering for lack of rations and supplies and that the Bureau men would not help them. The agents of the Bureau denied her statement, despite the evidence supporting her argument.[2] By November 1865, Commissioner Howard revoked Griffing's appointment due to these conflicts, stating that "this Bureau has not received any funds from Mrs. Griffing and does not assume responsibility of the collections she is making."[5]

Even with this setback, Griffing continued to help better the lives of the freedpeople. She worked with her government contacts to help freedpeople find jobs in the north, and sometimes travelled with them to make sure they arrived safely. The Freedmen's Bureau worked with Griffing on this project, providing barracks in Rhode Island, offices in New York City, and fund for rent and other necessary expenses.[2] By 1867, Griffing was working for the Freedmen's Bureau once more, this time as an agent for the Capitol Hill and Navy Yard districts.[2] Throughout her tenure, Griffing fought for increased aid for the freedpeople, as well as continuing her efforts at finding employment for African Americans in the north. She also kept contact with her associates in the federal government and in private aid organizations in order to obtain as much aid as possible for the destitute of Washington, D.C. Griffing worked as an agent for the Freedmen's Bureau until it ran out of funding and was forced to stop providing aid in late 1869.[2] She continued working to aid freedpeople through the National Freedmen's Aid Association of the District of Columbia until her death in 1872.[1]

Work for women’s rights

In addition to her work for the freedpeople of Washington, D.C., Griffing was also a women's rights activist. In the 1850s, Griffing became involved with women's rights organizations, making contact with women like Susan B. Anthony who would inspire her to fight for the rights of women as well as African Americans.[2] Throughout the 1850s, Griffing joined various feminist organizations, such as the Ohio Women's Rights Association, which she became the president of in 1853.[1] Shortly after President Abraham Lincoln gave the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Griffing joined the Women's Loyal National League as a lecturing agent, where she helped collect thousands of signatures for a women's antislavery petition that was eventually presented to the United States Congress by Charles Sumner. Griffing was also active in the temperance movement that was popular amongst many feminist activists during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.[1]

While in Washington, D.C., Griffing maintained her dedication to women's rights and the cause of suffrage. In 1866 she helped found the American Equal Rights Association, whose purpose was to promote equality and suffrage for all people no matter their race or sex; she also served as its first vice-president.[1] Griffing became the president of District of Columbia woman suffrage association in 1867, where she helped monitor guide suffrage activities in Washington, D.C.[1] In 1869, along with Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other prominent reformers, Griffing joined the National Woman Suffrage Association and acted as its corresponding secretary.[1]

Josephine Griffing died in 1872, with her cause of death listed as "consumption." She was 57 at the time, and was survived by her husband and her three daughters.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Melder, Keith. "Griffing, Josephine Sophia White (Dec. 18, 1814-Feb. 18, 1872)". Notable American Women: 1607-1950. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Melder, Keith (1963). "Angel of Mercy in Washington: Josephine Griffing and the Freedmen, 1864-1872". Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C. 63/65: 243–272. JSTOR 40067364. 
  3. ^ a b c Faulkner, Carol (2004). Women's Radical Reconstruction: The Freedmen's Aid Movement. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-8122-3744-3. 
  4. ^ Faulkner, Carol (2004). Women's Radical Reconstruction: The Freedmen's Aid Movement. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 84–85. ISBN 978-0-8122-3744-3. 
  5. ^ Faulkner, Carol (2004). Women's Radical Reconstruction: The Freedmen's Aid Movement. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-8122-3744-3. 
This page was last edited on 12 February 2017, at 19:12.
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