Nico MarchThank you so much Carol .. and welcome to all of you joining us this evening.
The Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu once said: "The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."
Our Journey began at 2:30am on January 6, 1572 when Johannes Kepler was born.
For those of you not familiar with Johannes Kepler, he was the first man to discover and mathematically define the elliptical property of planetary orbits, known as the heliocentric theory, successfully uniting the theories of Copernicus, Plato and Pythagoras as part of his three laws of planetary motion.
In doing so, he demonstrated the essential value of mathematics in describing the processes of the cosmos, without denying their ancient empirical descriptions.
The Father of Modern Astronomy, Kepler based his life's work on the synthesis of mathematics, astrology, astronomy, geometry and music. He gave life to mathematics, a soul to astronomy, and scientific reason to astrology. As a matter of fact, he has the singular honor of calculating the most exact astronomical tables ever known, whose continued accuracy did much to establish the truth of heliocentric astronomy. For our guests this evening, Heliocentric theory is the theory that the planets move around the Sun rather than the Earth.
It is to his holistic vision of an ordered universe that Kepler College was dedicated and came into being at another
auspicious time and date November 27,1992.
Fast forward..12 short years later, the blink of an eye in universal time, Kepler College has grown from a vision and a
dream in the minds of a select few, to what you see before you today, an academic institution on the verge of a great new beginning. As amazing as it may seem, it has been almost 400 years since students last had this incredible opportunity, to study astrology in an academic setting.
There are many individuals responsible for all of us being here and I would like to thank just a few of them - some with us here tonight - and some looking down on us with great joy and admiration at what they envisioned many years ago having so beautifully blossomed into reality.
First and foremost - The Founders' Circle. Comprised of 12 (and actually many more) amazing individuals, who came together to help lay the foundation of Kepler College. Each member of this esteemed group has been given a special
chair at the Founders' Circle table, representing each of the astrological houses.
1st House: Kelli Fox: The Power of One
(Kelli was Kepler's first Founders' Circle member)
2nd House: Chris & Cindy Doose: The Power of Tangible Assets
3rd House: Mark Douglas: In honor of Marcia Moore: The Power of Communication
4th House: Neil Michelsen. The Michelsen-Simms Family Trust: The Power of Strong Foundations
5th House: Mark Douglas: The Power of Creativity
6th House: AstroDataBank: In Honor of Lois Rodden: The Power of Work
7th House: "For All our Relations:" The Power of Sharing
8th House: William Vablais and Cerise McKenna: The Power of Change.
9th House: Marion March Master Class: The Power of Learning
10th House: Michael Munkasey: The Power of Leadership
11th House: Mark Douglas: The Power of the Group
12th House: Jean M. Wilson: The Power Within
and those of you considering an estate gift, endowment or other
tax deductible donation to Kepler..
Our Star Circle, Pillar and Cornerstone Societies are still expanding like our universe and
our most gracious thanks goes to:
Jim Lewis, being honored as the first star in our new Star Circle galaxy. With the Fixed Star Aldebaran:
named on behalf of - Jim Lewis Continuum
The Pillar Society consisting of:
Paula R. Bainbridge
And our Cornerstone Society:
The Arcadia-Mer Foundation
Elizabeth Teissier, PhD
And finally Edith G. Thayer
These individuals represent the past, present and future of Kepler College. Their spirit of generosity has and will sustain our mission. Because of this exceptional support we are honored to include them in our "Circle of Friends" .
And due to all the financial support and the efforts of those who have come before us, our future is bright indeed. Beginning with our Kepler graduates seated before you here tonight and even as far as outer space, beyond the stars and the planets into which even NASA has planned the Kepler Mission. At a very auspicious time for us, this special purpose space mission will search for Earth-like planets around stars well beyond the solar system. NASA's Kepler Mission represents a spaceborne telescope, scheduled for launch in 2006, which will put our namesake in the news in a very positive light once again, while searching beyond the universe and the stars we all know so well.
So looking towards a bright and prosperous future, makes today a momentous occasion indeed, as the 8 of you make your mark in the universe as the very first graduates of Kepler College. You have not spent these last few years engaged in all the aspects of astrology, mythology, anthropology and more, merely to go out into the world to make a living. You are here tonight as living proof that this institution has the capabilities, expertise, knowledge base and most importantly, the people, dedicated to a much greater cause; helping educate, enable and empower the people of world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here tonight, as part of our destiny, our first seeds sewn into the fabric of society to help enrich the world and all our futures.
In closing I'd like to read a quote from the honorable Carl Schurz, US Senator From Wisconson:
"Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with
your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters,
you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach
Congratulations to ALL of you, our first Kepler College graduates.. and everyone gathered here tonight.
This is your destiny.