Canterbury graduates begin 'new adventure'
By SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA
ST. PETERSBURG -- The solemn atmosphere of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Peter permeated the Canterbury School of Florida's graduation ceremonies Wednesday evening as 18 seniors received diplomas.
"I hope your new life is full of health, wealth and happiness," said Bob White, president of the Canterbury Parents' Association.
Eckerd College president Donald R. Eastman, the commencement speaker, gave the graduates three "suggestions" for college -- and the rest of their lives.
"Never underestimate the value of hard work," said Eastman, describing artists and authors who struggled and submitted hundreds of works before gaining recognition and fame.
"The truth is you can do anything you want to do if you are willing to work at it. And you can do it very well if you work really hard."
He said the "contemporary notion of winning and losing" is nonsense and urged the seniors to "do what is right" and let "time and history sort out the winners and losers."
Eastman's last "suggestion" urged the graduates to view education as "not just a search for a vocation, but for a set of compelling ideas" that would direct their lives.
Other speakers included the class valedictorian, Emily Allison Tilghman Earle, the salutatorian, Aaron Steven Bubley, and a recent alumna, Christy D. Raynolds.
"Our lives are about to diverge, and we will go on our distinct paths, but we have an unbreakable bond that will last forever," Bubley said.
Earle, who had attended Canterbury since prekindergarten, spoke of her love for the school and reminded her fellow graduates that "time is short, and we might as well make it memorable."
"A new adventure will commence with just a slight shift of your tassel from one side to the other," Raynolds said.
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