FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2009
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG DELIVERS COMMENCEMENT REMARKS AT THE 164th FORDHAM UNIVERSITY COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's speech as prepared. Please check against delivery:
"Thank you, Father McShane, and good morning, everyone!
"Let me start by saying how extremely honored I am to be here today - and to receive an honorary doctorate. My mother always wanted me to be a doctor. And my father, if he were alive, would never have believed I got any degree. But for me, this is truly a thrill:
"To be standing here today in the heart of one of our city's premier universities - on the very same campus where "A Bronx Tale," "Quiz Show," "Love Story," and "The Exorcist" were filmed, the alma mater of Denzel Washington, Vince Lombardi, and Captain Kangaroo.
"I look out into the crowd of you proud graduates - and I see so many shining faces. Either you're beaming - or you're still glassy-eyed from spending last night at Mugsy's on Arthur Avenue. That's okay. You have a lot to celebrate.
"But before I go any further, I'd like to recognize another special group: Your parents and relatives - who are sitting out there this morning, beaming proudly and not even thinking about what it cost to get you to this day. Or what happens if you can't get a job and have to move back home. So let's give them a big hand. They deserve it!
"The truth is: I'm very optimistic about the Fordham Class of '09 - whether you're going on to graduate studies, or directly into the work force. You've had a truly great education in the most exciting and stimulating city in the world.
"You've gone to a legendary institution that this year alone produced thirteen Fulbright Fellows! And, perhaps most importantly - right below where I'm standing, you got to see U2 put on a free morning concert! This involved two favorite student activities: staying up all night and having their classes cancelled. Now that's a beautiful day!
"Normally, this would be the point in my speech where I'd impart some indispensable words of wisdom that will serve you graduates well. But I'm not the official commencement speaker - Tom Brokaw is.
"So I'll have to save my 125 rules for success for another time. If you're interested, however, let me direct your curiosity to my autobiography, Bloomberg by Bloomberg - a magnificently written, DaVinci Code-like page-turner, currently ranked number 512,340 on the Amazon.com list. Parents, it makes a great gift for the graduate - and it's available in nine languages - including Portuguese.
"So, no I am not going to tell you right here the secrets to success. Although it never hurts to be the first one into the office each morning - and the last one to leave. I am not going to tell you how to choose a career, but it doesn't hurt to pick that first job based on how much you'll learn, not how much you'll earn.
"I'm not going to tell you how to avoid getting fired, because I have been fired and it was the best thing that ever happened to my career. I am not I am not going to tell you how to spend your free time, but there's nothing more important than giving back to your community.
"I am not going to tell you where to live or where to work, but in case you were wondering, there's this wonderful town along the Hudson with a great school named Fordham, and - from what I've heard - a really cool mayor.
"So I'm not going to tell you any of those things, but I will give you the single most important piece of advice that I've learned: It has served me well every single day of my 67 years: Six simple words - don't forget to call your mother!
"Stick to that and I promise you'll do great. Congratulations to you all on this wonderfully joyous day."
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958