Seniors Advise, Entertain With Traditional Class Day Orations

Marshals, deans also speak at Yard ceremony

On a cool and blustery afternoon yesterday in Tercentenary Theater, A. Ryan Leslie '98, Elizabeth H. Hanify '98 and Michael I. Sugarman '98 delivered the traditional Class Day orations during the ceremony to commemorate the Class of 1998.

With Harvard banners flapping in the breeze, the day began with the march of class officials and speakers from University Hall to the dais in front of Memorial Church, accompanied by the Harvard University Band.

Addresses by the class marshals, Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68, the presidents of the Harvard and Radcliffe alumni associations and Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III preceded the orations.

Epps presented the Ames Awards, given to students who exhibit outstanding leadership, selflessness and character, to Wei-Ming "Bobby" Lee '98 and Sandy S. Chung '98.

In the Harvard Oration, Leslie described his great passion for singing and exhorted graduating seniors to follow their own passions.


"When you find your passion, the best is always demanded of you, not by the expectations of others, but by the bidding of your heart," Leslie said.

"Some of you, like me, have already found your passion," he said. "It's my sincere hope that once we commence, we will above all be able to maintain the vibrancy and the vitality that makes us alive in this world."

In her Radcliffe Oration, Hanify called her Harvard experience the first step in a life-long struggle to discover her own interests and identity.

"The greatest goal we have in life is not to earn money or to attain fame--rather it is the struggle to maintain our distinct identities and ideals," she said.

"This is the greatest gift Harvard has given us--the luxury to struggle with who we are and what we believe," she said.

Sugarman's revisionist biblical history of Harvard made for a humorous Ivy Oration.

"And the Lord did grow sore sick of a cappella concerts and they sickened Him unto His soul," he said.

"Then did the Lord send a terrible plague against the Union and against all the freshmen therein, and their bowels did turn to water," he continued, referring to a food poisoning incident in the Freshman Union that sent a large portion of the class of 1998 to University Health Services in their first year.

"For God so loved the world that he gave it Harvard, that whosoever graduateth from it should not disappear, but have reputation everlasting," he said.

"And anyone whom he or she beget shall inherit this legacy and so be guaranteedadmission, even unto the hundredth generation," heconcluded.

The Orations were followed by guest speakerWilliam F. Weld '66 and the singing of the ClassOde, a parody of Fair Harvard, written by EileenNeville '98.

Class Day originated in 1707 as a series ofvaledictorian addresses to celebrate the entireundergraduate body, explained Harvard FirstMarshal Philip R. Kaufman '98 at the beginning ofthe exercises.

Today's undergraduate Commencement speakerswill be Lisa M. Mignone '98, who will give theLatin Oration and David Brunton '98, who willdeliver the undergraduate oration