Last May at the 2011 Commencement ceremony, Dr. Graeme Bird, associate professor of linguistics and classics, received the College’s Junior Distinguished Faculty Award. Gordon tradition invites the recipient of the award to “charge” the students at the first chapel service of the following academic year. This morning, students, staff, faculty and Gordon’s new president, Dr. D. Michael Lindsay, gathered for chapel and heard Graeme’s talk on the value of a liberal arts education at Gordon. Below is the text of his talk:
Matriculation, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, By Graeme Bird
Good morning. According to the program, the title of my talk is “Charge.”
Should this be a noun or a verb? It’s probably not the financial meaning that is intended here – hopefully you (or your parents) have taken care of tuition matters.
It’s probably not the verbal meaning – that would require an exclamation point, and would convey the meaning (#22a in the Oxford English Dictionary):
“To rush against or upon, with all one’s force, in a hostile way; to spur one’s horse against at full gallop; to bear down upon, make a violent onset on, attack or assail with impetuosity.”
No, I think a more timely definition is meaning #12 as given by the OED:
OED: 12. A task or duty laid upon one; commission, trust, responsibility . . .”
Thus I feel a sense of duty today, to share with you part of what I see as your responsibility while you are here at Gordon College.
So – why are you here? Why are we all here? What is Gordon College? Continue reading