30, 2002: The
Installation of President Shirley Tilghman Princeton
The Prayer of Invocation
Creator Spirit, in whom
we live and move and have our being, we come together this day remembering
more than 10 generations and 18 presidents of this college and university.
We are moved to offer gratitude for the learning and discovery,
the growth in comprehension and service that have been nurtured
and developed here. We give thanks for the variety and fullness
of the spirit of inquiry, the curiosity and freedom that have come
to characterize Princeton. We are appreciative of the many teachers
and trustees, benefactors, and, particularly today, our presidents
who have provided wisdom, care and guidance, through good and challenging
times to fulfill so many promises of our past.
Creative Spirit, sovereign
and inspiration of life, blessed for the simplicity and complexity
of all that is, for the vastness and small beyond our measure, worlds
within worlds, and ourselves in the midst, aware of ourselves thinking,
and so a people of language, story, responsibility and love; we
today look forward to our future. We pray that informed intelligence
and compassion may bring us wisdom. We ask that insight into the
most basic processes of life may enable healing and enhancement
mindful of the terror and tragedy that have come into our lives,
we ask that our lamentation reach to you and that our prayer for
a world of greater peace and understanding be heard. In honor of
those who have died, all who mourn, and the many who have responded
with great courage and compassion, I ask that we hold them together
with us in a time of silent and earnest prayer.
We pray that this will
be a university where diverse people may share the knowledge of
different cultures and lore, their very human fears and hopes with
one another and then others in our world.
Through our learning
in the sciences and engineering, in politics and poetry, music literature,
art and history, may we together achieve a shared humanity that
may make Princeton a community of learning ever more welcoming to
teachers and students rich with their many stories and experience.
Go-between Spirit, giving
instress and sayability, music and mathematics to our world, on
this day of thanksgiving and beginning we pray a blessing on our
new President, Shirley, for strength of mind and heart, a blessing
of courage and wisdom, that in times of challenge and opportunity
she may know our companionship and support in life's great adventure
of making place and opportunity for others.
In laboratory and library,
on playing fields and in studios, in carrels an chapel and precepts,
in each conversation and concert may there be inspiration for those
who teach and those who learn. To Shirley and her family and to
all who work here and all who bear Princeton's name give, we pray,
your quiet courage and loving service in this and every nation,
Spirit of all life, that In Your name this University may flourish.