Dole advises Hopkins graduates to find a mission Red Cross president tells 1,098 to enter a career that 'stirs your soul'

May 22, 1998|By Timothy B. Wheeler and Mary Maushard | Timothy B. Wheeler and Mary Maushard,SUN STAFF

Do something with your life that stirs your soul, American Red Cross President Elizabeth Hanford Dole urged 1,098 Johns Hopkins University graduates yesterday.

Speaking at undergraduate commencement on the Homewood campus, Dole recommended that graduates follow their passions and seek careers that give them a sense of mission.

"Personal integrity, our moral compass, counts far more than any line on a resume," she said.

Dole said she began her career in public service by working on consumer affairs in the Nixon administration shortly after graduating from Harvard Law School.

"What began as a job soon turned out to be a personal crusade," she said. Her government career took her to the Federal Trade Commission, and she served as secretary of transportation and secretary of labor under two presidents.

At the Red Cross since 1991, she finds satisfaction in trying to help victims of natural disaster and war, she said. Dole, the wife of former senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole, described her organization's latest crusade for a worldwide ban on the use of land mines. More than 120 million mines are in 70 countries, she said, often maiming and killing civilians long after fighting has stopped.

"On whatever path you now choose," she said, "I encourage you to commit to a mission that stirs your soul."

Earlier in the day, at universitywide commencement exercises for the 122-year-old school, Hopkins President William R. Brody advised the approximately 4,870 graduates that luck would help determine their futures.

"The challenge you will face in the years ahead is to learn how to identify good luck -- and cultivate the bravery necessary to take advantage of it when it comes your way," Brody said.

Hopkins awarded 3,016 master's and 505 doctoral degrees, including 129 doctorates in medicine, as well as 255 certificates.

Besides Dole, others receiving honorary degrees were: Turkish businessman Rahmi Mustafa Koc; Corbin Gwaltney, editor-in-chief of the Chronicle of Higher Education; Sam Shapiro, Hopkins public health researcher; Leon Schlossberg, the university's chief medical illustrator; and Rita Sussmuth, a German political leader and university professor.

Villa Julie College

State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick made a plea for better-trained and better-compensated teachers for the youngsters of the 21st century and asked for help from the Villa Julie College graduates to reach these goals.

"If we could put a man on the moon in less than 10 years, we can put dedicated, diverse, elite teachers in every one of our classrooms," Grasmick told the 340 graduates of the Stevenson college.

To entice more people into teaching, she urged tax breaks for teachers -- a suggestion that won applause -- and various incentives for students to study education.

Answering the question that might have crossed the graduates' minds, Grasmick said, "It has everything to do with you, education and noneducation majors alike.

"For it is your children who will reap the rewards of an exceptional education and exemplary teachers. And, yes, your children who will suffer the consequences if we do not demand what, long ago, we should have come to expect."

Villa Julie, celebrating its 50th anniversary, invited one alumni LTC from each of its previous classes to march with the graduates and to assemble on stage to officially welcome the Class of '98 into their midst.

"From a one-year school for medical secretaries in 1947, Villa Julie has blossomed into a fully accredited four-year college with 2,000 students," Grasmick said in her address. "The little school in the valley is little no longer -- not in size or stature."

Grasmick and the college's longtime president, Carolyn Manuszak, received honorary degrees during the ceremonies, which marked the school's 45th commencement.

Pub Date: 5/22/98

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