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May 20, 1984

Public Broadcasting Service NewsHour television journalist Jim Lehrer, whose daughter Jamie was a member of the graduating class, delivered the 1984 Commencement Address in which he recommended that the graduates “become risky businessmen” because “to search for a safe place is to search for an end to a rainbow that you will hate yourself once you find it.” Lehrer recommended not only professional risks, but also personal ones: “enter into relationships with other human beings…whether as friends or lovers or spouses…with full gusto and commitment. Some of the unhappiest people I know are those who have spent their lives keeping others away, protecting themselves from emotional commitments—all in the mistaken opinion that to expose the nerves and the soul is to be hurt. Hurt is part of being a full human being. The emotional peaks and valleys are what being mentally healthy is all about.”

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