Congratulations to McMaster Humanities graduates and the Classics Department Class of 2014. Convocation marks the completion of formal education for many of us and provides the occasion to look forward to new endeavours as professionals. Commensurate with this transition, now is the time to put all of the exercises of the last four years into practice . This liminal moment brings to mind words used to describe Charles Eames, one of the godfathers of midcentury modern design and an artist with an enormous legacy. He adhered to the theory that in professional endeavours one should not sell one’s extant skill set, which is a limited repertoire, but instead sell yourself based on the things you don’t know, which is an unlimited repertoire. Sell your desire, your drive, your ability to learn, and your enthusiasm to successfully complete tasks at hand. In this way, you are never unprepared or unqualified.
This perspective is central to a Humanities degree. While there are a few professional settings that require you to know the date of the Kritios Boy, the skills employed to identify, scrutinize, and prepare a rigorous analysis of the sculpture will contribute to any undertaking. These tools are essential to building your value in your community, your city and your professional setting. Curiosity, drive, and stick-to-itiveness are the skills for success in Classics, and they are the same that will ensure it continues beyond the university.