[MUSIC PLAYING] "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study." This is not an elite education. It's not any person, any study. This isn't temporary.
This is the sunset on the slope, the prize in the distance, walking over hills. This is the place where the sun shines far too little and where it snows far too much. But there's beauty in it. And when it shines, there's life.
It's brunch at Appel, dinner at Risley. It's going to the first frat party and loving it or hating it or forgetting it. This is studying. It's bowling that perfect strike. It's being with the people who are forever and doing absolutely nothing.
This is high fiving touchdown at a football game, feeling the rush of the crowd. It's "sieve, sieve, sieve" and throwing fish on the ice. This is 2 AM at Nasty's, 3 AM at Louie's, 4 AM at Uris. It's Palm's O'Clock, drinking like adults, Halloween in a college town, dancing like nothing else matters at a space party where everyone gets naked. This is CTB and CTP and DPP and getting sick of eating in a college town.
And this is the Common. It's moving. It's dancing. It's being part of a community and it being part of us. This is a place where we walk in the footsteps of giants, where there's magic in knowledge, where we go to class or don't. This is theater. And this is theater. This is music and dance and art and science and film and history. This is gorgeous.
It's swimming and jumping and losing and fences but seeing beauty in it nonetheless. It's red and orange and yellow and green. It's looking around and being left breathless. This is looking up on a sunny day or a rainy one or a rainy one. This is far above Cayuga's water. This is.
This is a toast to 5 AM nights, to the color red, to the stars, to the sky, to climbing 161 steps and doing 161 things, to doing none of those things. This isn't school. This isn't work. This isn't temporary. This is raising a glass to a place we'll always call home. Here's to us saying goodbye. Here's to you saying hello.
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"As a graduating senior I may have finished my last academic assignment of my undergraduate career but mentally I wasn't feeling quite done yet. I knew that the only real way I would feel done would be if I could say good bye in a meaningful way and the best way I knew how to do that was through film."
"This Is" is a collaborative project done between Alex Silver and Jon Tai (Class of 2011) as a final tribute to their Alma Mater.
Directed and shot by Alex Silver. Written and narrated by Jon Tai.
Alex Silver's Portfolio is viewable at