2006 Latin Salutatory Oration

Delivered in Latin by Dan-el Padilla Peralta
(English translation)

Given at the Academic Assembly of Princeton

On the Sixth of June
The Year of our Salvation 2006
The 259th Year of the University

My companions and the people of Princeton:

I salute you! Muse, remind me of the causes, with which divinity appeased, with which professors bribed with money, we have been called together to stand here today. Tell me the story, Muse, of the crafty students who -- having written so many letters for their theses -- received only one in return, a letter which was sometimes the cause of joy and sometimes the cause of wailing. So great an effort it was to overcome our academic labors.

Hated to me like the gates of Hades is that man, who always wears Nantucket Reds and Lacoste. When I came to this very distinguished University four years ago, I was not able to understand why it was so pleasing to you, my fellow students, to be decked out in purple or pink. Today I confess the truth: I still don't understand. But I have learned in my studies how Princeton students celebrate once they're done with their work: They go to Quad or Colonial to shake their sides and haunches -- a marvel to behold! And I say this thing to you: Some among us cannot dance to a rhythm.

It is necessary for me also to confess this to our parents: We came to the walls of Princeton not only to study, but also to drink Milwaukee's Best (or should I say "Beast"), and to eat pizzas at Frist, and to play with our very beautiful classmates. Truly all the students who pass through the FitzRandolph Gates have one night of love of which they are ashamed. Today let us walk out with this truth deep in our minds.

I have not yet arrived at the end of my speech, because a few more important things must be said. A woman is the leader of the deed: President Tilghman, who in five years has accomplished so much for the University. Dean Nancy Malkiel, we thank you -- even if you promised to lower our grades. Trustees of the University, without whom there would be no University: With you as its leaders Princeton advances to better things. Finally, I salute Dean Fred Hargadon, who opened the doors of the University to us: We give him the greatest thanks.

My allies in harsh affairs: Our fame will be bounded by the stars, and our names will be imperishable. I thank you for your friendship and support. I do not doubt that in the future we will all flourish in the diverse walks of life. Cicero wrote, "Wisdom would not be sought out, if it could not accomplish anything." Keeping in mind these words, let us use our knowledge for the glory of Princeton and the advancement of humankind. Friends, take care and farewell.