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600 Days

August 27, 2013

In speaking to the freshman class last night (a very impressive class, indeed), I broached the topic of “600 days.” For a freshman at DePauw, there are 600 class days ahead: only 600 opportunities to make the most of an undergraduate education. For the sophomores, juniors, and seniors, there are even fewer opportunities remaining. Imagine that you were given $600 and told those were all you had for the rest of your life. Each of those dollars would become remarkably important. The same is true for the undergraduate education that is to serve us for the rest of our lives: one undergraduate college experience that has to last a lifetime. Whatever we do, whatever we accomplish in a single day, it had better be very important, for we have exchanged a very valuable thing for it: one day–for the freshmen, one of  600 days.

The start of a new school year is an exciting time. It is time for both anticipation and reflection—a time for “New Year’s” resolutions. One of my “New Year’s” resolutions is to be better at updating this blog. As our students contemplate their “New Year’s” resolutions, I encourage them to think carefully about the number of days that remain in their undergraduate education, that brief education that must inform and last a lifetime.

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