LT'13 Class Speaker Remarks

Frank Nam, 04/07/2014

"To me, Leadership Tomorrow is the living embodiment of a word used by the Zulu tribe in South Africa. The word is 'Ubuntu.' Ubuntu can be summed up by saying that my humanity is tied to the humanity of others. If my neighbor is suffering - I am suffering. If my neighbor is prosperous- I am prosperous."
Frank Nam, LT'13, was elected as this year's Class Speaker. Below are some highlights from his remarks.

"72 classmates took a ferry ride to Silverdale in the morning tide. With anxiety inducing hives, We started our LT lives.

What started off with social fears soon became laughter and cheers After a game of 'shuffle your buns' the mood lightened and we had some fun

We drew identity maps to reveal Who we were on the inside for real Some of us were amiable and others liked to drive While some were creative, others analyzed

What started off with a bit of fright Turned into two days of delight Finally we drove off the ferry docks aglow in our first LT building blocks."

Frank continued to describe his LT experience:

"To me, Leadership Tomorrow is the living embodiment of a word used by the Zulu tribe in South Africa. The word is 'Ubuntu.' Ubuntu can be summed up by saying that my humanity is tied to the humanity of others. If my neighbor is suffering - I am suffering. If my neighbor is prosperous- I am prosperous."

How do I explain this (race) retreat...? It's like Schindler's List. It's powerful and transformative but also extremely draining emotionally. It's heart-breaking. You learn new things about these complex characters but at times you want to close your eyes or turn it off...I was filled with courageous conversations and honesty and powerful revelations and at the same time it was taxing and you wanted to hide in your room at times."

Frank closed his speech with a poem and obituary. The poem is entitled The Bridge Builder by Will Allen Dromgoole.

"An old man, going a lone highway, Came, at the evening, cold and gray, To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide, Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim; The sullen stream had no fear for him; But he turned, when safe on the other side, And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim, near, "You are wasting strength with building here; Your journey will end with the ending day; You never again will pass this way;

You've crossed the chasm, deep and wide- Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head; "Good friend, in the path I have come," he said, "There followeth after me today, A youth, whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm, that has been naught to me, To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be. He, too must cross in the twilight dim; Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."

Please read the obituary from the NY Times here.

"I ended with these two stories because it is my hope that when my life is spent and when my classmates' lives are spent - someone somewhere will write a similar story about each one of my classmates. It doesn't have to be published in a national newspaper and it doesn't have to be a poem emblazoned on bridges. Instead - it should be a story about the bridges we've built...A story about Our sacrifice, Our courage and Our servant leadership. This is my hope."

Frank Nam, LT'13