Quid durat? What lasts?


Quid durat? What lasts?
Quid durat?
What lasts?
Praeses Faust, decani, professores doctissimi, hospices insignes et familiares rer
honorati, neenon vos omnes, ubicumque estis, qui hane orationem Tutubulo
spectabitis, et ante omnes condiscipuli carissimi: Salvete!
Cum corde laetitiae pleno has sententias vobis offero, hodie dum ad solem inclinat orbis ut calefiat. et ver aeseati cedit. Nonne visa hiems numquam desirura?
Discesserunt aurem njvis cumuli-felicissimum dictu--et tandem glacies cum gemiru fugivit indignata sub umbras. Hoc de transitu astrologi mirati sunt arque
rogaverunt philosophi quid significaret. Vere, si tempesrates atroces tam facile
abstergi possunt, quid durat?
His festis, quae ramam rurbam in rneatrulII Tercentenarium nahunt, cursus studiorum nostrorum tenninati decernunrur. Post hoc, farum erit nobis cum omnibus
aliis alumnis annua vice redire ut priora reco rdemu r. Ac velut iIli canes Ya lenses arenam vel suam vel nostram quotannis intrant et quotannis discedunt gementes et
flentes, illos dies memoria tenentes cum interdum vincerent; haud secus nos redibirnus et iuventutem laetam meminisse dolebimus.
Tempus quidem nobis collegium apud Harvardianum breve fuit, sed Academia
ipsa multos annos amnem Carolanum exsuperavit, atque patriae gentiquc servivit.
Cum novi homines essemus, maximo cum convivia, fidibus ab Yo-Yo Ma suavibus
sonitis, placentia ingenti in imagine rubri H confecta, annum almae matris trecentesimum sepruagesimum quintum celebravimus. Non universa in patria aequatur
haec aetas!
Sed non dubitandum est quin arx quoque summa propter fortunae varietatem
cadat. Vocate in mentem quoddam saecu)um futurum quod reverenter nostrum
"antiquitatem" nominat, et eo tempore viatorem ruinas Harvardianas aspicientem.
Tantae stragem civitatis, tot hominum illustrorum fetae, miratur ille. Colunmas
passim confractas, staruamJoannis Harvard recubantis, templa mannorea aut latericia vacua, non deorum dearumque, sed scientiarum artiumque, omnino srupet.
Aedes contemplans pulvere submersas-non dissimiliter hodie stat Novus Portus!iIIe ab imo pectore suspirat propter magnificentiam perditam. Quidnam durat?
Nolite autem solliciti esse, amici, quia academiae nostrae, non in perpetuum ipsi
manenti, est monumenrum perennius et pulchrius aere vel marmore, vellaterei scilicet ilia copula, quae secundum sententiam a poeta Horatio scriptam et super quandam hoc campo portam a maioribus inscriptam tenet inrupta animas doctrina almae
matris fonnatas usque ad supremam diem. Ne derelinquamus hanc copulam, 0
condiscipuli, sed earn capiamus et amplectamur! Nullae nos aspergant procellae,
nee hiems ulla calorem frigidet fraternitatis. Valete!
President Faust, deans, most learned professors, noted guests, thrice-honored
family members, and all of you, wherever you are, who will watch this speech on
Youtube, and most of all my dearest classmates: greetings!
I offer you these words with a heart full of joy, today while the sun warms the
earth, and spring yields to summer. Did it not seem that winter would never end?
But the piles of snow have left, and the ice has finally fled with an angry groan
beneath the shades. Those who watch the skies have marveled at this change, and
the philosophers have wondered what it means. Truly, if fierce storms can be so easily wiped away, what lasts?
By these festival rites, which draw such a crowd to Tercentenary Theatre, the
course of our studies is coming to an end. After this, it will be our fate to retu rn
each year with the other alumni to recall our former days. And just as those dogs of
Yale each year enter either our stadium or their own, and each year depart mourning and weeping, remembering those days when they used to win once in a while: in
the same way we will return to recall our happy youth.
Our time at Harvard is brief, yes, but the University herself has towered over the
Charles River for many years, serving her country and her kind. \¥hen we were
freshmen, at the greatest of banquets, Yo-Yo Ma sweetly sounded his strings, and a
huge cake was prepared in the shape of a red H, as we celebrated our alma mater's
three hundred seventy- fifth anniversary: a lifespan unparalleled across the whole
James McGlone
May 28, 2015
But without a doubt, even the proudest strongholds fall to the twists of fate.
Imagine in some future century, which reverently calls our own time "antiquity," a
passing traveler looking out over the ruins of Harvard. He marvels at the fall of so
great a city, filled with so many distinguished men. He is utterly stunned by the
columns lying broken here and there, the statue of John Harvard lying on its back,
the empty marble and brick temples, not of the gods and goddesses but of the arts
and sciences. As he beholds the houses covered in dust-much like New Haven
today!-he sighs from the depths of his heart for lost greatness. What is there that
Never fear, though, my friends, for our University, though she does not herself
last forever, has a monument more lasting and more beautiful than bronze or marble or brick: namely, the unbroken bond which, in the words of the poet Horace
inscribed by our forebears over a gate to this Yard, unites the souls formed by our
alma mater's teaching until the last day. Never abandon this bond, my classmates,
but hold onto it and cherish it! May no storms scatter us, nor any winter chill the
wannth of our brotherhood. Farewell!
James McGlone
May 28, 2015