Rafail Zoulis gives his address at the podium

2019 Latin Salutatory oration, English translation

Rafail Zoulis, who concentrated in classics, delivers the salutatory oration in Latin.

2019 Latin Salutatory oration, English translation 

Rafail Zoulis

(English translation from text delivered in Latin)

Given in the Academic Assembly of Princeton University

In New Jersey on the 4th of June

In the year 2019

In the 272nd Year of the University

Our predecessors in their wisdom, my fellow companions, have instituted the excellent custom that on this most auspicious day a speech of salutations should be proclaimed in a not unworthy tongue, intelligible to none but the inhabitants of old Latium and the most erudite professors of East Pyne. For it is proper that we, the disciples of knowledge tired and exhausted from the fierce battles against morning lectures and sleepless nights, be praised with the eloquence of virtuous Cicero rather than the flattery of a little Greek.

But in what manner did we reach our current position, under what form of government did our ability to simulate comprehension grow, and how did we beat Bacchus in daily drinking contest — wondrous to behold? To these questions I turn my panegyric so that the whole assembly, whether due-paying alumni or spies from northern universities, may listen with advantage.

Under your leadership, President Eisgruber, we have prospered, as you defended the endowment from unjust taxation and the international scholars from deportation. And you, venerable Trustees, fierce guardians of ancient and opaque traditions, prudently steer the University, debating the damnation of memory of past presidents and the alteration of the Honor Code. And under your tutelage, most learned professors, we have learned much, while you patiently tolerated our still present ignorance and corrected our unpolished theses.

Oh my companions in misery: We have fought battles against innumerable problem sets and survived many papers. Perhaps it will be pleasing to have remembered these things one day. But now is the time to drink, now with loose feet it is time for beating the earth. Let us march in triumph through the hallowed FitzRandolph Gate and let us use our knowledge for the glory of Princeton and the advancement of humanity.

Friends, seize the day and farewell.