Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/479

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University of Madras.


(By The Honorable P. O'Sullivan.)

Gentlemen, — I have been deputed by His Excellency, the Chancellor, to address a few words to you on behalf of the Senate; to congratulate you upon the diplomas you have just obtained, to measure the prospects before you, and to indicate the course you should take, the better to enable you to fulfil and keep the promises you have made. I do heartily congratulate you upon the success which you have gained, and upon your adoption as sons of the University of Madras. That success implies the possession by you of qualities which give no Small assurance of fitness for the various callings to which you are destined. Apart from special studies to qualify yourselves for particular avocations, you must have applied yourselves with ardour and earnestness to the acquisition of knowledge, and you have given proof that you are sufficiently intelligent to use and apply the knowledge so acquired. You have proved that you are capable of sustained application to scholastic work, that yon have an aptitude for intellectual studies and are not unwilling to have your knowledge examined and tested. You have measured yourselves with your equals in age, and have reason to be satisfied with the result. You have shewn that you can subject your inclination to discipline and control. You will go into the world with advantages of intellectual and moral preparatory equipment which ought to prove serviceable in your future career; but in order to maintain your vantage ground you will need to shew that you are equal to the constantly recurring demands upon your mental powers and resources which active employments require. You will be frequently confronted with practical difficulties which you must meet and overcome, and as your experience will grow with your responsibilities, you will gradually acquire the requisite skill and confidence to enable you to discharge the several duties which will devolve upon you, as others before you have done.

It is frequently said the number of persons trained under the auspices of this University exceeds the number of suitable employments within their reach. So far as I can judge, this is not more true as regards this University than most other Universities. In England the commercial value of a University Degree is not highly appraised. The number of persons who have graduated in the