Lafayette College Commencement 2015

On Saturday, May 23rd, I had the privilege of delivering the commencement speech to the graduating class of 2015 at Lafayette College. The commencement ceremony was a huge success and I owe a great deal of thanks to President Alison Byerly, Marie Enea, and Jim Krivoski, for their warm hospitality.  

Lafayette Commencement 2015 from Erik Weihenmayer

As a bit of background on Lafayette's history, the institution is named for the Marquis de Lafayette, the famed French aristocrat who fought for the American cause during the Revolutionary War. As a guest of honor, they let me hold his sword. One of Lafayette College's great treasures, the sword, dates back to the French Revolution and bears the Liberty Cap as it’s pommel which symbolizes the sacrifices made on behalf of liberty.

In fact, I have my own history with Lafayette College. Five years ago I spoke at a special event at Lafayette College in Easton, PA to a packed house in its campus chapel. Later in the year, on the evening before the big football game with arch rival Lehigh, I addressed the team; and the players wore “Touch the Top” t-shirts under their pads. The Lafayette vs. Lehigh contest is the longest unbroken rivalry in college sports and I am pleased to report that, on that day, the underdog Lafayette Leopards came home victorious. I’d like to think I had a small part in that win! Go Leopolds!