Decrees of Separation along with the Right to Wear a Mortarboard and Tassel, 1999's Graduates Series: Cherilyn Cepriano Congratulates Graduating Classmates at Smith College in Northampton, Mass. in May. the School Is the Largest Women's Undergraduate College in the United States. BY NANCY PALMIERI/AP 4) BRIAN LAMB: The Head of C-SPAN Told Grads to Acknowledge Their Heroes. BY KHUE BUI/AP 5) DESMOND TUTU: He Thanked Students for Making a Difference in South Africa. BY FRED ERNST/REUTERS

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Calvin Trillin WRITER

Ssquehanna Uiversity Selinsgrove, Pa. I think that there's a temptation to think of the graduation phase as the final phase that the parents have any responsibility for, but I am here to tell you that that is not true. They will always return... A few years after my older daughter moved back to New York and was living around the corner, we had a small dinner party for another writer... {Abigail} showed up a little earlier than the other guests and I said I have two things to tell you. One you're looking smashing in your party clothes, and two, I think you're the only guest who's brought her laundry....

One of the important things about education is that it has a slow payoff. It's not immediately obvious what you're going to do with the education you've gotten here. The true impact may take a long time. You may have an immediate impact of certain degrees, or certifications, or ways of going into certain businesses. But the true impact, what kind of person you're going to be, how it has taught you to think, what your approach to life is, is going to take a long time. When I think of what's going to happen to the Susquehanna class of 1999, say at your 25th reunion, the only thing I have to go on is my own 25th reunion. And I have to say it's not good news for the scholars among you, the ones who have really excelled in academic pursuits, because at my 25th reunion, I took a little survey using my usual scientific controls, and I decided that after 25 years, income was precisely in inverse proportion to academic standing in the class.... As you start this "start a life" phase, I have to say that I hope you'll surprise each other. And I hope that the surprises will be pleasant ones, and I hope that you'll use what you learned here to lead satisfying and productive and honest lives. And remember that the impact of your education is beyond any credentials, or anything like that.... Jane Alexander ACTRESS Smith College Northampton, Mass. First and foremost you have to believe that you matter. That your voice will make a difference. You do, and it does. Not all of you will want to be out front and active and for those of you who will be mothers, I cannot think of anything more important than being there for your children when they are little. The wonderful thing about being a woman today is that there are no stigmas attached to what you choose to be. It is all possible. In 1840, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott began working to change the inequality they felt ... in the year 2000, it is time to move into decision-making positions of the world, or at least actively work towards that goal.... I ask you to make equal representation in the halls of Congress, in...local and state legislatures and on the boards of our corporations a reality.... Bill Nye HOST OF PBS SCIENCE PROGRAM Rennselaer Polytechnic, Troy, N.Y. {W}hen you get a job, never write a memo, a memorandum, that's more than one page. Attach all the graphs and charts and supporting documents you want. But, never write a memo that rambles. No one is going to read it. You build your argument to this big crescendo, and no one remembers your point, because it was on sheet 2 of 2. Or worse yet, it's on sheet 4 of 5. Ouch. Now, paper memos are going to become somewhat rarer as your careers advance. The new constraint might be, never write anything that doesn't fit on a 13-inch screen, under the tool bar and inside the scroll marker.... Norman Schwarzkopf GENERAL, US ARMY, RETIRED University of Richmond Richmond, Va. You know the most important thing to my mind that you will all take away from this university today will be your personal value system that you have developed while you have been here. For some of you it will be extremely broad, allowing a great deal of latitude and tolerance. For many, many others of you it will be very, very, very narrow, allowing for little room to maneuver and very little compromise. …


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