Rev. Robert Ives, Bowdoin’s Director of Religious and Spiritual Life and a member of the Class of 1969, delivered the invocation for the College’s 211th Commencement exercises May 28, 2016.
As a ship sails forth from its harbor, sailors use bell buoys and lighthouses as the navigational aids to guide them on their journey.
As travelers walk a mountain path, they use stone cairns and trail blazes as the navigational aids for the journey.
And as you the class of 2016, go forth from Bowdoin into the world before you, I would share with you navigational aids for that life journey.
They come from the writings, the wisdom, and the scriptures of the sacred traditions around the world.
They come from Judaism and Islam, Hinduism and Christianity, Native American tradition and Buddhism; so many of the faith traditions represented within your very class of 2016.
Today I share with you these sacred words as navigational aids for the new journey you shall soon begin.
Be strong and of good courage,
Hold fast to that which is good,
Love and serve one another.
Do unto others what you wish others would do unto you.
Do not do to others what you would not want others to do unto you.
The body is the temple of God.
Overcome anger with love, overcome evil with goodness.
The earth you stand upon is sacred ground.
—Native American (Crow)
Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do.
Do Justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.
Live simply that others might simply live.
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can,
In all the ways you can, to all the people you can,
As long as you can.
Live without fear,
Love without reserve, and
Willingly work for the common good of all.
And so distinguished Class of 2016, may these navigational aids guide your life journey and be the chart and the compass for your daily living.
May God’s special blessings abide and remain with you both this day and in the amazing and remarkable journey before you.