Archer Senft, Founder and Creative Director of Slimeyard Slimes continues to inspire with his message of resilience and hope.
Not only can Archer create incredible designs for shirts, hats, ties and stickers at his clothing brand Slimeyard Slimes but quite the wordsmith as well!
McDonogh School captured Archer's commencement speech on June 9, 2017 in a video.
After numerous requests we are happy to share Archer's wise words to all of you!
Archer Senft Commencement Speech
McDonogh School Class of 2017
Good morning everyone. It is an honor to be here with all of you today, and to have been chosen by my classmates to share some thoughts and reflections. Thank you all for joining us on this momentous occasion. You know it is momentous because I and the rest of my fine classmates have these flowers to show for it. I have this nice boutonniere pinned to my jacket, and any time you see a fresh flower attached to a man’s clothing, he is either attending some special event, deserving congratulations, or in need of a friendly, “are you ok, man”. Luckily, today, we don't have to worry about that. None of us are out of our minds, attaching flowers to our clothes willy-nilly in some delusional attempt to reinvent perfume. No, we are here to graduate. So let me be the first to say to the class of 2017, in the famous words of the great modern poet Mr. Post Malone, congratulations, it looks like we made it.
Yeah, we made it. All of us are here today, gathered to witness the final step of our high school careers, to remember what brought us here, and reminisce on the many fond moments and accomplishments we have shared in our years here as each of our respective paths intersected to learn and grow as members of the McDonogh community. By some miracle, all that winding madness of intersections has brought us all here today, after walking over and through the many mountains and valleys that shape our lives and gradually give definition to the individuals we have become and are becoming still. We have changed a lot since freshman year, we all know that. But our journey is not finished, we will continue to change as we set foot on new ground and pursue happiness and success in college and beyond. It is that pursuit which drives us to reach for new highs and navigate the challenges on the road ahead in the unknown. And it takes a certain amount of hopefulness to embrace that unknown. This is certainly a very hopeful day, we do not know what is ahead of us, only that high school is now behind us. And thank God for that.
We continue to write our stories. And as we open the next chapter of our lives, we must remember the portions of our stories that have been written so far. It’s like Teddy Pendergrass once sang, “You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.” We all have these stories, each unique to us and us alone. Most of you know my story, and are a part of it. And I, in turn, am a part of your stories as well. Some of the stories people like to tell the most are those of triumph, success, love, and accomplishment. But if we do not remember the hardship and struggles that we journeyed through to reach those memorable moments, the story is incomplete. We have all had setbacks and difficulties, scars that may never heal. Yet we continue to push forward, and put those things behind us. Everyone here has had to move on from or work through something that probably made them feel helpless, or small, or insignificant, as if nothing might lead them out of that darkness. But as Tupac Shakur once said, “For every dark night, there is a brighter day.”
The fact that we are all gathered here today in celebration is evidence enough of our ability to overcome adversity, to bounce back, to forge on. Something that can be summed up in one word that we hear so often when we talk about these things: resilience. In an article I read recently, resilience is defined as the process of effectively negotiating, adapting to, or managing significant sources of stress or trauma. This article talked about a study which showed that the only personality trait that was the best predictor of an individual’s ability to be resilient was hope. It wasn't about grit, and being a determined person who works hard. It wasn't about having curiosity, or even a strong sense of meaning and purpose in life. The key element of being resilient is hope. Hope, and hope alone. Having hope does not always mean being happy, or optimistic even, but rather aspiring towards and pursuing one’s goals. Hope is about the belief in progress, and learning to accept and learn from the things life throws at us: good and bad.
So if there’s anything that you take away from what I’ve said today, I really encourage you to remember this: have hope. Take life one step at a time and keep walking forward. Or rolling, should you choose the fast life like me, or the great Ricky Bobby who famously lived his life by the mantra, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” The only thing I might add to that is, even if you are in last, or drifting along somewhere in the middle, everything is gonna be just fine, just believe in progress. And most of all, be hopeful. Thank you.
Watch the full video here.
We can all use a dose of HOPE as we navigate "this thing called life", taking a line from the great songwriter musician Prince.
No doubt wise words can inspire us all.
Recently Baltimore Fishbowl had a chance to interview Archer Senft an Alumni of The School of the Cathedral and McDonogh Class 2013 both in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Read the full interview here
Erik Zygmont from The Archdiocese of Baltimore pens an article after his interview with our Founder and Creative Director Archer Senft.
Art has always been a part of Archer's life - After the accident in 2015, art took new meaning in the form of therapy and more!