I gave my first official Head of School commencement charge tonight to our two graduates, Faith and J.C. The ceremony went swimmingly and took all of 34 minutes from the first to the last sound of live bagpipes (always a plus). Here's what I said (give or take a word) in my seven-minute talk:
Before I offer a charge to our graduates, I would first like to offer thanks to our faculty for their part in our success. Staff, would you stand that we might applaud your efforts this year?
This is a significant moment in the history of our school. After eight years, we are graduating our first official senior class. In saying this, I mean that Faith and J.C. are the first students who, having started at Veritas in the early days of its existence, stuck things out – not everybody did. Now as 12th graders, they have completed all academic requirements set forth by our Board of Directors for receiving a diploma. You are to be commended for your perseverance. Well done.
This is a significant moment for our graduates and their families as well. Throughout these past eight years, Faith and J.C., along with Brian and Christie and Curt and Carla, have had to adjust to a school coming into its own, not always smoothly and rarely perfectly. Our graduates and their families have been through location switches, administration transitions, first versions of curriculum, a merry-go-round of teachers (sometimes within the same semester), and a dozen other complications – and yet they have pioneered faithfully to this point, mostly without complaint, and we celebrate them this evening as a result.
As much as I, as Head of School, would like to say and believe that you have received the perfect education at Veritas Classical Academy, I cannot do either. At times we have fallen short in figuring out all that it takes “to provide an exceptional classical Christian education serving the Oklahoma City metro,” which is the vision we see, but only in glimpses so far. Because you are our first two graduates, you have borne much of the brunt of our attempts and you have probably felt our growing pains of progress as much as anyone.
And yet in doing so – and I can only say this with the comfort of a Sovereign God – perhaps this has been the perfect education to prepare you for a world that is far from perfect. While neither is formally in our curriculum scope and sequence, learning to live with ambiguity and responding with a spirit of adaptability will serve you well. You have learned these abilities – you have had to! – as God, in his infinite wisdom, has chosen this for you from before time.
Faith and J.C., in considering our Veritas portrait of a graduate, by God’s grace, I believe you know you are Christians and that you know your place in the world. You know you still have much to learn, but I know you know how to learn and desire to discover it. You have witnessed firsthand that insight and creativity take time, but you have also learned how to take the basic facts of multiple disciplines, make sense of them, and communicate meaning using them – accurately evaluating the world’s work as well as your own.
Most importantly, you know how to think Christianly (though whether you choose to or not is up to you), and as a result, you know the Lord’s call to act and lead on behalf of the broken and marginalized. I believe you love and believe that God is sovereign over the entirety of your lives, not just because the Bible tells you so, but because of all you’ve experienced in this eight-year experiment known as Veritas Classical Academy.
We love you and pray God’s best for you. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with each of you. And may you love and live well in this ambiguous, adaptability-demanding world so desperately in need of God’s redemption.