Alumnus Ronan Farrow’s Commencement Speech


Addressing the Class of 2011, Ronan Farrow, ’99, Bard ’04, told graduates they have the tools to make positive change happen right now. “Don’t wait. The future is now, and I am now, and you are now. And we can make a difference for a better now,” Farrow urged.
Ronan Farrow

“Don’t wait” is an important message—and it’s an ideal that Simon’s Rock students embody. It’s a message Farrow conveyed with credibility. Drawing on his first-hand experience, Farrow challenged the Class of 2011 to make an impact:

“I look out at this room and I’m excited. Because I see a group of young men and women who are already a part of this important moment. Young men and women who have been given the incredible gift of this community, and this institution that is designed around the theme of giving young people the tools they need, when they need them. And a room of people who have already heard that voice—in their heads, from their peers, from their teachers—telling them to slow down, to play it safe, to move at the usual pace, and who said: ‘You know what – I’m not going to bow to the normal. I’m going to take a leap that’s unusual, and I’m going to do what’s right for me, to have the biggest impact I can with my life right now.’”

You have the tools to take your bundle of experiences and turn them into something of impact, now

And it’s a message Simon’s Rock students can relate to—they didn’t wait to start college. The choice to start college early is just the first step on a path. It’s a choice that connects them to resources that can change their life and galvanize their desire to develop their talents in the service of the public good.

Farrow told the students, “You have the tools to take your bundle of experiences and turn them into something of impact, now. You have the chance to be part of a moment in history where people are ready to listen—and where how we listen will be critical to the state and security of the world. So don’t wait to grab it.”

Over the years, Simon’s Rock students have embodied that sentiment. They have gone on to invent new uses for the Internet, bring healthcare to remote areas of the world, build thriving businesses, save lives through pediatric neurosurgery, and lead organizations like the Rainforest Alliance. In the last year, the Newsroom covered just a few of the Simon’s Rock students and alumni who made the active choice not to wait (note, Simon’s Rock identifies students by entrance year):

Congratulations to the Class of 2011. The world is waiting!

To watch a clip from Farrow’s address, click here.

More videos from the 2011 Commencement