The walls of Oxford have not only housed the greatestphilosophical and scientific geniuses—they have alsoushered forth some of the most cherished creators ofchildren's literature, from J.R.R. Tolkien to C.S. Lewis.Today I was allowed to hobble into the dining hall inChrist Church to see Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderlandimmortalized in the stained glass windows. And evenone of my own fellow Americans, the beloved Dr Seussgraced these halls and then went on to leave his mark on the imaginations of millions of childrenthroughout the world.
I suppose I should start by listing my qualifications to speak before you this evening. Friends, I donot claim to have the academic expertise of other speakers who have addressed this hall, just asthey could lay little claim at being adept at the moonwalk—and you know, Einstein in particularwas really TERRIBLE at that.
But I do have a claim to having experienced more places and cultures than most people will eversee. Human knowledge consists not only of libraries of parchment and ink—it is also comprised ofthe volumes of knowledge that are written on the human heart, chiseled on the human soul, andengraved on the human psyche. And friends, I have encountered so much in this relatively short lifeof mine that I still cannot believe I am chiseled only 42.