Watch lights fade in every room: Cautions about commencement speeches

The Eloquent Woman

The rest of the committee found many things to dislike about his approach--the tone, the facts, the lack of a hopeful view--but I had the winning argument for putting this speech aside: I knew that the moment the speaker said, "Breathe deep the gathering gloom," the entire class of thousands of graduates would immediately respond with "WATCH LIGHTS FADE IN EVERY ROOM," the next line in the Moody Blues number. This one's geared to graduates, rather than those called on to inspire them.