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2004 Latin Salutatory Oration

Brian Tsang
June 1, 2004

Given at the Academic Assembly in Princeton
On the First of June
The Year of our Salvation 2004
The Year of our University 257

This year it is our fortune to have commencement coincide with the reemergence of the 17-year cicadas, who honor us even now with their incessant love song. But, should this rare honor not be enough, I will do my best to honor you.

First I salute you, President Tilghman, for never being satisfied with the status quo and always striving to make Princeton a better school. I also salute you, the Trustees, for guiding Princeton throughout the centuries.

Professors and instructors of Princeton, not only have you instructed us, but you have made [Princeton] one of the most respected universities in the country. For this, I salute you.

Now I salute the men and women, most of whom are not here, who fix our computers, begin constructing Whitman College at 8 a.m., clean our buildings after drunkards have desecrated them, ensure our safety, et cetera . This school would not exist without them, and we are grateful.

If they do not already know, the greatest of thanks goes to our parents, sine quibus non (without whom nothing [would be]).

Finally, I salute you, my fellow students. Today I honor you for your four years of labor. As Yogi Berra aptly put it, “I want to thank you for making this day necessary,” which, for the non-English speakers in the audience, translates roughly to “Gratias tibi ago pro huius necessitate diei.” But tempus fugit, so I want to leave you with this advice: semper ubi sub ubi (literally: always where under where) . Hail and farewell.

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