Stonyfield founder tells FPU grads to ask, 'Why not?'
Students graduate under sunny skies at Franklin Pierce University's commencement Saturday in Rindge. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Union Leader Correspondent)
Hirshberg of Concord, his wife, Meg Cadoux Hirshberg, Penny Pitou, a trailblazer in women's skiing, and Lloyd H. Astmann, a 1969 Franklin Pierce graduate and longtime trustee were all conferred the degree of doctor of humane Letters.
"I was broke, I was terrified, and I was in deep debt. And like you, I was aware of a lot of problems that are facing our world, the world you are now going into: climate change, toxins, disappearing family farms," he said.
The two-word answer, "Why not?" was simple and powerful, he said.
When you buy something, you are voting. ... Shopping is voting, acting is voting; every day you can choose to be part of the solution," he said. "Gandhi was right when he said, 'Anybody who thinks they are too small to make a difference has never been in bed with a mosquito.'?"
She told the crowd that this was her second visit to the campus. The other visit was also momentous, she said.
It was nine long years before the company started thriving, she said.
"No matter what you do, living an extraordinary life requires leadership, imagination, problem solving, grit, resilience, optimism and a never-say-die attitude. That is what it takes to will anything into existence," she said. "Passion will help direct your energy and help you to endure the inevitable failures. We cultivated what we cared about. So I think whatever you choose to water in life will grow."
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