President Melvin L. Oliver’s Charge to the Class of 2019
Pitzer tradition says that it’s now time for me to give you your charge. As Pitzer College students who possess immense confidence, unabashed individuality, ideas on practically every social issue and boundless enthusiasm, providing a charge for you is probably pointless. But tradition cannot be overlooked; let me give it a try.
I just finished reading the Walter Isaacson biography ofLeonard da Vinci. I was struck by the fact that as an artist, da Vinci onlycompleted a few paintings and sculptures. However, they were masterpieces,ahead of their time, classics that we know well and appreciate, from the MonaLisa to his famous painting of the Last Supper. We all have a limited time onthis earth, and I want to challenge you to produce a masterpiece in whateverway you can; through your hands such as a work of art, your mind such ascreative writing, scholarship, a feat of engineering, or your heart, throughacting, through relationships, social ties or passionate societal engagement.These are the kind of masterpieces that embody a commitment to intellectualcuriosity, intense observation, critical appreciation, perseverance, humansympathy, discipline and diligence. And they add to the richness of our livesand lives that come after.
I charge you to make the commitment to produce a masterpiecethat lives beyond your time and leaves a legacy for all of humanity.
My friends, I present to you the Pitzer College Class of twothousand and nineteen!