Boston University Class of 1992

It was 32 years ago (almost to the day) when Fred Rogers gave the commencement speech to a crowd of young, excited graduates from Boston University.  Mr. Rogers sang the song to the graduates that he sang at the beginning of every episode of his iconic public TV show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

The graduates of 1992 went wild, and sang right along with him.  Graduating from college is always a joyous occasion, but to add the words and music of Fred Rogers?  It must have been a surreal experience.  From the looks on their faces, they were having one of the best days of their lives.

This is a wonderful memory, not only because of Mr. Rogers words, but because it was the early '90s and the hairstyles were crazy!  We were just coming out of the '80s, but the "big hair" was still very much a thing.

Dartmouth University, Hanover, New Hampshire, 2002

Boston University wasn't the only place that Mr. Rogers gave a commencement speech.  Dartmouth University in Hanover, New Hampshire, had the pleasure of having him in 2002, just a few months before he passed away in February of 2003.  It's amazing that someone in the last year of their life was able to remain so inspiring.

Mr. Rogers attended Dartmouth for a short time, and during his commencement speech, he said his tuition was $1,100 per year (including housing).

Mr. Rogers Didn't Like the Weather in New Hampshire

According to The Good Neighbor: The Life and Works of Fred Rogers, (of COURSE I've read it), Mr. Rogers didn't have a great experience at Dartmouth.  He didn't like the cold weather, and felt isolated there.  He eventually transferred to Rollins College in Florida, where he met his lovely wife, Joanne.

Fred Rogers Was One-in-a-Million, Both on and Off-Camera

In 2018, I had the pleasure of meeting Paul Lally, who directed over 100 episodes of Mister Roger's Neighborhood.  I may have fangirled a little bit, because I was never going to be able to talk to Mr. Rogers in this lifetime, but I could talk to Paul.  He shared stories about Mr. Rogers, and how he was the kindest individual off-camera as he was on-camera.  Paul worked with Mary Anne Esposito, host of "Ciao Italia!", filmed right here in Durham, New Hampshire.

These Mr. Rogers videos get me every time.  The world needs more people like Mr. Rogers.  I try to think, "What would Mr. Rogers do?", if I have an issue. Especially if it's an ethical question.  His memory hasn't let me down yet.

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