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A Message from President Armbrister

July 2014

It is quiet here at Girard College.

Our seniors graduated on June 5, and the last day of school for the rest of the students was June 13. Teachers and residential staff worked through June 20 when we celebrated years of dedicated service at the annual employee appreciation lunch. You can see photos of this event and the individuals who were recognized here.

The administration continues to work throughout the summer, completing end-of-year reports and projects and starting on the innumerable tasks associated with preparing for the next school year.

When I look back at this past year, I am filled with pride at the accomplishments of our students and staff.

One of my favorite memories is Commencement 2014. The ceremony was very special; 39 seniors graduated, and family and friends were inspired by the words of our dynamic speaker, Marc Morial, CEO of the National Urban League.

Marc’s message of confidence and encouragement made me think about other commencement speeches I have heard or read about. And so I did a little web research.

I found a sampling of celebrity advice (sometimes serious and sometimes amusing), a list of the 12 most common themes going back 300 years and many, many “best of” lists.

But I also stumbled over a blog written by Tania Lombrozo, a psychology professor who is a frequent commentator for NPR. Her blog caught my attention because she wrote about what she wished she’d learned BEFORE graduation.

In her third of three lessons, she says, “Playing isn't a waste of time.”

“We take it for granted that children can and should play. By adulthood, that outlook is expected to give way as we make time for more ‘mature’ preoccupations. Young adults are somewhere in the transition: too old for ‘child’s play’ and not yet into adulthood. But the lesson from psychology is that there’s a role for play, whether it’s elaborate games of make-believe, rule-based games, unstructured summer playtime or forms of ‘higher culture’ like art, music and literature. Playing is a way to learn about ourselves and about the world. Playing brings with it a host of emotional benefits.”

This struck me as particularly important for many of us who lead continuously plugged-in and over-scheduled lives.

So, with most of the summer still ahead of us, I’d like to recommend to all members of the extended Girard family that you find some time to play. Read a book, go to the movies, play ball with a friend, get out the Monopoly game, find a deck of cards, attend a concert, sit on the beach, or whatever will bring you joy and greater well-being.

Have a wonderful summer.

Hail Girard!

Clarence D. Armbrister


Girard College is pleased to hold memberships in several key educational organizations:




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