Excerpts From Governor Mitt Romney's Commencement Address At Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia
[Excerpts Of Governor Romney's Commencement Address (As Prepared For Delivery):]
"I want to offer my sincere thanks to Doctor Pat Robertson for extending me the honor of addressing you today.
"This university, its students, its alumni and the faculty serve as an example of Dr. Robertson's dedication to strengthening and then nurturing the pillars of this community and our country: education, fellowship, and advancement."
"You know, I don't remember when it was exactly when I went beyond the sandbar. My family had a cottage on the shores of one of the Great Lakes. For the first 40 feet or so, the lake is shallow, warm, and protected from the big waves by a sandbar. That's where I spent most of the hot summer days as a boy. I liked it there. One day, my brother got me up on water skis. Perhaps fearing that a turn would cause me to fall, he drove the boat – and me – straight out into the deep. By the way, the lake is over 100 miles wide. I screamed the whole terrifying ride. But ever after, the deep water is where I wanted to be – body surfing in the breakers, water skiing, diving. Oh yes, the water wasn't as warm and calm, but it was clean and powerful and invigorating. I got out of the shallow water for good.
"Over the years, I have watched a number of people live out their lives in shallow water.
"In the shallows, life is all about yourself – your job, your money, your rights, your needs, your ideas, your comforts.
"In the deeper waters, life is about others – spouse, family, friends, faith, community, country. In the deep waters, there are challenging ideas, opposing opinions, protracted battles of consequence."
"You are, of course, giving a great deal of thought to your career. The economic environment may be more turbulent and competitive than my generation has known. Some of you will be tempted to stay near shore, where there are no big breakers and where you will never make any waves. Others will push beyond the sandbar, pursuing new frontiers, exploring new ideas, driving to achieve, to learn, to influence, to contribute.
"That, of course, is the heritage of this land. The people who came to Jamestown 400 years ago may not have all been saints. But they were all pioneers. They crossed the broadest waters and dreamed the grandest dreams. Their spirit is the American spirit. It is why America surpassed our native England to become the world's most powerful nation. And it is the heart and spirit of the American people that make this country the hope of the world. Great people have made a great nation."
"If there ever was a time for great Americans, great and good Americans, Americans who are willing to cross into the deep waters of life, it is now.
"You cross into the deep waters by marrying and raising good children. There is no work more important to America's future that the work that is done within the four walls of the American home.
"You cross into the deep waters by driving yourself in your education and in your avocation beyond the safe and comfortable, to reach new insights, to make contributions, to serve.
"You cross into the deep waters by serving in your church, in your community, in the military, in government or in volunteer service.
"I am optimistic about the future of America because I have seen the spirit and heart of the American people." ...
Mitt Romney, Excerpts From Governor Mitt Romney's Commencement Address At Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/296787