To the editor:
My son, Minh-Jeffrey Le, is graduating with a degree in economics from Oberlin College.
My family and I applaud and congratulate Minh-Jeffrey and all the graduating seniors. We send our best wishes to all Oberlin students and the townspeople of Oberlin.
We thank president Marvin Krislov for his leadership, the dedicated professors and staff members of Oberlin, and the Oberlin students for making Oberlin College the rich and unique place that it is.
My family and I are proud and humbled that Minh-Jeffrey will be graduating from this distinctive institution, the first college to admit black students, the first co-ed college to award bachelor’s degrees to women.
We are delighted that Jessye Norman, world renowned opera singer and one of my favorite singers, will receive the honorary doctorate and be the commencement speaker. She founded the Jessye Norman School of the Arts in Georgia, which provides tuition-free music programs for middle school students. She also expanded her music endeavors to jazz. This fact has extra special meaning for our family, as Minh-Jeffrey is a jazz musician himself.
Michelle Obama, at last year’s commencement, urged the graduates “to carry on the Oberlin legacy of service and social justice.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his 1965 commencement speech, called on Oberlin graduates to uphold the values of “embracing peace,” “working for peace” and “opposing the waging of war and killing of other human beings.” He called on graduates to “achieve a world perspective,” “to work passionately and unrelentingly to get rid of racial injustice in all its dimensions,” and “to get rid of violence, hatred and war.”
The Oberlin College campus is magnificently beautiful.
I am grateful to Liz Clerkin, registrar at Oberlin, and Will McCracken, a writer, for hosting my visit. Ms. Clerkin’s culinary dishes are heavenly.
It is in the joyful spirit of Jessye Norman’s music and the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, words that Minh-Jeffrey and my family and I bid, “Chuc mung den tat ca cac sinh vien o Truong Dai Hoc Oberlin!” (“Congratulations to all Oberlin College students!”)