Decades from now, countless Delawareans will think back on 2012 not as the year the Olympics were in London, or the year the Phillies won another World Series (although, that would be nice).
Instead, they'll look back on this year as the time they, or their children, graduated from high school or college. The year they took that next critical step forward -- to make a name for themselves, and a way for themselves -- to start putting to work for themselves what they'd studied so hard, for so long, to learn from others.
I expect they'll look back on this year as a time when technology offered graduates both more opportunity -- and more competition -- than at any time before. And I hope they'll be able to look back at this year as a time when efforts to get the state's economy moving in the right direction had really taken hold and efforts to elevate the national esteem of a Delaware diploma had really taken flight.
So many great educators give me a chance to spend a lot of time in schools and on our college campuses. When I talk with students about what they most want out of life, again and again they say something similar. They want to feel like they're doing something that matters. To be able to build careers for themselves and hopefully -- eventually -- raise their own family right here in a state that's given them so many opportunities.
It's not all that different than what Carla and I wanted, now more than 30 years ago, when we had the chance to walk across the stage, diplomas in hand, as proud, new graduates of Newark High. When she and I look back on the years between that day and now, the moments that hold the most meaning for us are times we felt fully connected to something larger than just ourselves. When we were most aware that so much of life's great joys come from connecting with others and offering service beyond self.
To everyone involved in this year's Class of 2012 -- to the parents, teachers, principals or professors, to the friends and family that offer support -- to everyone who will look back on this year and remember forever the moment when that cap got thrown in the air -- let me say "Congratulations!" on behalf of all your fellow Delawareans. We look forward to the incredible things you'll do in the future as you keep moving yourself, and our great state of Delaware forward.