Valedictorian speech written and given by:

Arthur Edgar Briscoe

May 23, 1930




Graduating Exercises


Dear Friends, Teachers and Classmates

Our little boat stands tonight at the bending of the stream and we are pausing awhile to draw in our breath for the work ahead.

The voyage of life is through many deep and unknown channels, with many windings and turnings that often make it difficult for us to tell just what we have passed by, and what we are yet to meet.  It seems a long course to follow as we row through the waters, and we are often tempted to let our bark (barque) drift whithersoever it may; but as we rest upon our oars and look back, how a very short distance we seem to have come, after all, and how close the banks appear to be!

It is pleasant to pause here at the bending of the stream and consider for a little the pleasant calmness of the wave ripples through which we have been so easily rowing; but we cannot linger long for already the noise of life’s larger waters is calling us, and we know we must row ahead out of the peaceful shallow current or our young life, where we have been able to drift through so much of our passage, and pull hard through the deeper channels against the streams of active life.

Dear parents, guardians and friends, we cannot pass forever out of this quite channel into the deep waters awaiting us, without thanking you from the bottom of our hearts for the privilege of beginning this voyage of life on the breast of so clear and calm a stream.  For these happy years our bark has glided so smoothly between the banks that we could reach over and gather the lilies through which we were guided, and were scarcely conscious of our own efforts in propelling our little craft up the stream.  Our teachers have carefully sheltered us from every adverse wind of thought, and have warned us with the most zealous pains of the evil rocks and shoals or tangle of seaweed so sure to be met with in the broader channels of our onward course.  We realize that had you not made this possible for us, our start on the voyage of life might have been saddened by many disasters and retarded by many a barrier that might threaten to wreck our vessel, even at the very beginning of our voyage, and we want you to know how much we appreciate your loving thoughtfulness before we, tonight, sail onward, through the deeper channels to the sea of the larger life awaiting us.

To you, dear teachers, we must also express our earnest thanks, often and often in the days to come when we are thrown more and more upon our own guidance intuition, our minds will travel back to you, and we shall see how many times you have helped to steer our frail bark around this or that difficulty, till we shall long, I am sure, to return to the shelter and protection of your piloting.  But you have given us both our chart and compass, and as our boat glides out of the waters where you have been its guide so long, and your eyes, as I know they must, follow us on into the deeper channels ahead may you ever see our dark blue and gold as signals of promise and grateful resolution from the class that must never be afraid to show its colors, as we push out to perform our mission in the splendid sea of a bigger opportunity.

And thus, classmates, we linger at the head of the stream, the end of our course.   We have rowed together through the school-waves behind us, but each must row forth alone into the deeper channels to come whatever and into whatever they may lead.  Let us, as the billows of life force us apart keep our dark blue and gold, with all that they signify to each one of us, ever flying at the mast head; and so, face the duty of the unknown waters bravely and boldly, the privilege of honor ever turning the pilot wheel, as we sail to the success no graduate of the dear school can ever fail to win.

Onward, through deep channels,

May we ever hold

Wearing from our panels

Our dark blue and gold.

Arthur Briscoe Memorial