Recent graduate Brandon Colbert delivered an address to the Class of 2015 at the June 6 commencement ceremony. He was selected to give the speech based on a contest open to all seniors earlier this school year.
Below is a transcript of Colbert’s speech:
I’d like to start this speech the same way we’ve started every week for the past four years, with the creed of duPont Manual High School:
I believe in duPont Manual as a school of high standards of scholarship, sportsmanship, and service, where all work for the common good. I, therefore, pledge myself to obey established authority, accept responsibility for my own conduct, and so honor our colors that the Crimson and White will ever be the symbol of a school of lofty purpose and democratic ideals.
So honor our colors that the Crimson and White will ever be the symbol of a school of lofty purpose and democratic ideals.
Since freshman year I’ve always wondered why we honor the colors. Why not honor the football team? Why not the girls’ basketball team? The teachers? The administrators? Why the colors? Why the Crimson and White?
As senior year came to a close it became pretty obvious why we honor the Crimson and White. We honor the Crimson and White because we are the Crimson and White. The “diversity, tradition, and excellence” that this school boasts? That’s us.
If you take a good look, beyond all of the accolades, ribbons, awards, and recognitions, you’ll see the well-tuned engine that keeps the school running at maximum efficiency, is us. We’re the engine, the brakes, the steering wheel, the rims and the Crimson and White paint job.
We are the Crimson and White, not just because of our caps and gowns but because of what the Crimson and White represent; because of what we represent.
We represent the strong resilience of the Crimson.
It is our Crimson Strength that helped us remain steadfast after the untimely passing of Manual Legend, Mr. Clint Vaught, the one who helped so many people’s butterflies “fly in formation” and encouraged us to “own the moment.”
It is our Crimson Strength that held us so that when we were met with the administrative and structural shifts of the school and magnets we proved ready to swim with the currents and embrace the winds of change while still maintaining our top-tier performances.
We represent the deep passion of the Crimson.
The evidence thereof can be found all throughout Manual’s hallways.
It can be found in the determined eyes of our student athletes. It is their Crimson passion that drives them to train day in and day out, weather the storms and endure the elements to ensure that when they step on to the court, the field, or the track to represent us they do so with flawless execution.
It can be found in the commitment of those on staff at any of our student-run publications. It is their Crimson passion that pushes them to devote late nights and early mornings to their publications and because of the work they put in we can boast our award-winning yearbook, our award-winning newspaper, our award-winning literary magazine.
It can be found in the diligence of our VA students. It is their Crimson passion that prompts them to spend hours upon hours, meticulously considering every pen and brush stroke, crafting and creating beautiful and inspirational artwork.
It can be found in the intensity of the musicians, actors, designers, writers, singers, and dancers at YPAS. It is their Crimson passion that sparks their creative fires and enables them to produce the awe-inspiring and show stopping productions that the entire Louisville community has come to expect, know and appreciate.
Not only do we represent the strong, resilient passion of the crimson but we represent the white.
We represent the brilliant ingenuity of the White.
We are the innovators. The trendsetters. The pioneers. We are the leaders of the Class of 2015. Carrying the weight of pressure that comes with being the number one school in the state, we didn’t rest on our laurels but we stepped up to the challenge and performed. We performed in Science Fair! We performed in Hairspray! We performed in Senior Art Showcases! We performed at CSPA! Bringing to each arena a fresh and never before seen aspect that could only come from the brilliant minds at this school.
We represent the transparent perfection of the White.
Regardless of what onlookers may think, we’re not perfect. We know this. So when I say perfection I don’t mean it as “unblemished” but I mean it as “complete” and that’s something a lot of people can’t say. We are leaving high school not just accomplishing the required courses and getting the necessary credits but as individuals prepared. Prepared, not just for college, but for life and whatever she may have in store for us. Prepared to stand against injustices and threats to freedom everywhere. Prepared to make our mark on this world.
So that’s why we are honored here today, fellow classmates, because we are the crimson and white.
We set the high standards of scholarship, sportsmanship, and service.
We commit ourselves to the work of the common good.
And know even as we prepare to cross this stage we forever will be a symbol of a school of lofty purpose and democratic ideals because we are the Crimson and White.
In the year 1915, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected the proposal to give women the right to vote.
But in this year, 2015, our rights will not be rejected!
In the year 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte the great French Military Leader and Emperor surrendered to the Duke of Wellington ending the Napoleonic Wars.
But in this year, 2015, our voices will not be surrendered!
In the year 1715, King Louis XIV died ending his 72 year reign, the longest of any European monarch.
But in this year, 2015, our dreams will not die!
Our hopes will not die and our spirits will not die because we are strong, we are passionate, we are brilliant and we are prepared.
We will not die, because the ceiling can’t hold us!
Because we are the duPont Manual Class of 2015 and because we are the Crimson and White!
Congratulations Class of 2015! Congratulations to the Crimson and White!