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At the Tufts Humanist Chaplaincy, we hope to foster a comfortable environment for people to engage in honest discussions around the challenges in their lives, and to explore how people outside traditional religion approach questions that many faith traditions engage regularly. At regular small group reflections, the Humanist in Residence facilitates an open, respectful, and confidential conversation around a chosen theme that concerns and informs many of our choices and experiences in our life journey. The conversation is typically introduced by a piece composed from a Humanist perspective that engages the theme.

The annual New Beginnings reflection is a bit different. It is an opportunity for any interested graduating seniors to come together and reflect not only on years together but on the experience of passing through this life transition and what we anticipate in our lives to come. The conversation is framed from a Humanist poem, one very close to Tufts indeed: the song “New Beginning” by Tufts alumna and honorary doctorate recipient Tracy Chapman (A’87, DFA’04).

In the past, people have remarked on the ways in which commencement is at once very exciting and very emotionally exhausting, on how they have prepared themselves for relationships to sustain or change in time, and on the most powerful lessons they’ve taken from their time on the hill. No requirement at all to have been involved in Humanist programming while at Tufts–all the better if you’re interested in having another new experience before you leave campus.

The reflection will be on Friday, May 20th at 9pm in the Interfaith Center downstairs meeting room. At 10pm, we’ll have a casual reception with refreshments and we’ll play some more of Tracy’s music.

We encourage seniors to bring their families if they’re available to join in the conversation and/or the reception afterwards as they see fit. Starting this year, we’re excited also to be welcoming Humanist alumni, from past Humanist programs and the former Tufts Freethought Society, to the reflection. We hope it will be a casual but meaningful way for people in different walks of life to connect and share wisdom among one another.

For any questions or more details, feel free to e-mail the Humanist in Residence Walker Bristol at Otherwise, looking forward to having you join us, and best wishes to all those graduating!