Sweet Briar’s 335-pound ‘Shark Man’ delivers best convocation speech, like ever!!

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John F. Morrissey, marine biologist and keeper of more than 100 live sharks at Sweet Briar College in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, delivered what may be the most memorable convocation speech ever, anywhere.

You, dear students, are the horses, and my colleagues intend to offer you some of the coldest, clearest, tastiest water that you’ve ever had … but none of these titans of teaching can make you drink. Without you, they are not able to teach. Without you, I am little more than a 335-pound sack of wasted cytoplasm.

John F. Morrissey, marine biologist and keeper of more than 100 live sharks at Sweet Briar College in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, delivered what may be the most memorable convocation speech ever, anywhere.

The performance, seen in this video, illustrates why the larger-than-life professor was chosen to give the keynote address. In accordance with Sweet Briar custom, Morrissey earned the distinction when he was awarded the Student Government Association’s 2010 Excellence in Teaching Award last spring.

Morrissey used a tried-and-true adage to make the point he wanted students to take away from his remarks.

“An old saying about horses is the perfect metaphor for education,” said the 6-foot-7 zoologist, after regaling his audience with a hilarious preamble. "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make them drink."

“You, dear students, are the horses, and my colleagues intend to offer you some of the coldest, clearest, tastiest water that you’ve ever had … but none of these titans of teaching can make you drink. Without you, they are not able to teach. Without you, I am little more than a 335-pound sack of wasted cytoplasm.”

Sweet Briar College is a nationally recognized all-women’s liberal arts and sciences college near Lynchburg, Va. Information is available at http://www.sbc.edu.

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