Tania Pabon MFA '17:
Graduate Student Speaker

Tania PabonGood afternoon faculty, staff, family, friends, and of course, graduates.

When I first took a tour of Sarah Lawrence, I was impressed by its terrain. A current student, at the time, led me from Slonim House to Westlands, past MacCracken up to the Tea House and back. I had not worn the most comfortable of shoes, and only now can I be truly grateful that she didn’t take me to Bates. But even in those shoes, I felt the campus to be comfortable. Somewhere between the neon green grass and the aged architecture was the potential for being a part of something beautiful.

It is a form of right of passage for the writing students to listen to Director Brian Morton talk about the spirit of generosity in every writer. It is what drives artists to share and share in artistic work.

During my time at Sarah Lawrence, I’ve seen that it is also what drives people to become advocates, caregivers, healers, preservers of history, and policy makers. The spirit of generosity is what allows us to exercise confidence by tapping into our vulnerabilities. Our success is not only dependent on the skills we have honed on the second floor of Wrexham or at the Science building (had you been tasked to brave the hill). No. Our success will also be built on our humanity, on our empathy and benevolence.

Tania PabonIn my experience, the typical SLC student is drawn to the ideals of community and engagement. We now need to think critically about our role out there, in what has been renamed “a time of uncertainty.” Wherever each of you decide to take your professional lives next, you must remain certain in the expectation of mindfulness, kindness, and excellence.

Take with you the evenings as seen from a lounge chair in the library, the round tables that facilitated and mediated. Don’t forget the living rooms and sun porches and the basements.

Carry these things in your practices and demeanor.

It is now our responsibility to move forward boldly, with purpose and focus. Contribute your voices with confidence and continue to treat the world with inherent generosity.

Congratulations on your momentous achievement!