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Home » Fred Rogers’ Speech at 2002 Dartmouth College Commencement (Transcript)

Fred Rogers’ Speech at 2002 Dartmouth College Commencement (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of author Fred Rogers’ speech at 2002 Dartmouth College Commencement.

Listen to the audio version here:


Wow, what a privilege to be with you all. Since I’ve arrived here in Hanover, many people have greeted me by saying, “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood.” Well, indeed it is a beautiful day.

But before I begin, I’d like you to know that I recognize that you who live and work here have had many days, particularly during these last several months, that have been far from beautiful. You’ve had a painful time, and you’ve handled it with dignity.

Honoring the Zantops

I feel certain that the Zantops’ generous spirits inspire you, and it’s a great privilege for me to be with you all. When I was at Dartmouth in the late 1940s, the tuition, room, and board all added up to $1,100 a year. Nobody owned a home computer, and hardly anyone had a television set.

And those who did, there was a choice of three channels. I’m not sure if Jeanne Shaheen was even born yet, but very few people would have guessed that within 50 years, a woman would be governor of New Hampshire.

Changes at Dartmouth

Yes, when I was here, the first word of the alma mater was “Men.” “Men of Dartmouth, give a rouse.” Well, now the first word is “Dear.” Some things change for the better. During my first year here, I lived right over there at 101 Middle Mass, and I had two roommates.

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