Rabbi Edward Boraz
To President [Philip] J. Hanlon, his wife, Gail Gentes, our Board of Trustees, Governor Maggie Hassan, Presidents Emeriti James Wright and Jim Yong Kim, invited guests, distinguished faculty, staff, members of the Dartmouth community, and Class of 2017. It is a great honor to deliver the invocation on behalf of our gathering this afternoon.
Let us pray to the Eternal Spirit that guides and inspires our hearts and minds.
We express a deep sense of gratitude for this moment in the history of Dartmouth as we gather to celebrate the inauguration of Philip J. Hanlon as its 18th president. In so doing, we acknowledge our sacred obligation to the pursuit of knowledge so as to better our world. We understand our humanity and our mission to be one that motivates us at all times to become a better, more caring, and inclusive community in our collaborative quest for Truth.
Today, in the Jewish tradition, we celebrate The Festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, a festival of Thanksgiving. It commemorates the time when a people journeyed in the wilderness towards a promised land. We, too, are on a journey that is reflected in Dartmouth’s motto—Vox Clamantis in Deserto—“a voice of one that cries out in the wilderness.” We too are a voice that proclaims its mission to be one that helps each generation of students acquire the mind and the heart to improve the human condition wherever they may journey hereafter.
It is a day of thanksgiving, for we are filled with appreciation to have Philip J. Hanlon serve as Dartmouth's president. We give thanks for his predecessors who grace our presence today as we move forward; Presidents Emeriti James Wright and Jim Yong Kim. We are grateful for every person who works each day to make our College a better place for all who are here. In the language of the Psalmist:
We seek to gain a deeper sense of our finitude
So that we may acquire a heart of wisdom
We pray to that Eternal Spirit that resides in our hearts,
That the work we do
Under President Philip J. Hanlon’s leadership, find favor in the heart of humankind
That the work of Dartmouth
Be established firmly in building
A better tomorrow for all
And let us say Amen