Charles McEnerney, ‘Dear Graduate’

A little book that could pay big dividends for the new or old graduate in your life.

Dear Graduate asks a series of questions of the reader—about how they want to spend their lives and what values they’ll develop, evolving to bigger questions about how they act in the world and who they want to become and what they will achieve. It’s 33 questions in all. Even for many athletes I deal with that have a hard time realizing how they fit in to the world after graduation.

Laura Albert (aka JT LeRoy, author of Sarah) called Dear Graduate, “A non-interrogation, subtle and sweet guiding system for any recent graduate.” We think she nailed it.

Dear Graduate is hardcover, 6”x 6”, and 88-pages of text and bright colors, starting with a page for a note to the graduate.

All at

This year, Dear Graduate was selected by Uncommon Goods!

Rick talks to the author, Charles McEnerney.

The book started from a conversation with my partner Adam Larson as I was talking to him about my two children, my son who was graduating NuVu Studio School in Cambridge (and will enter MassArt this fall!) and my daughter Adacie McEnerney who will graduate Boston University in three weeks!

We realized that the question we’ve all been asking each other for so many years, “What do you want to BE when you grow up?” probably isn’t the greatest of questions. It assumes the aspiration is a title instead of a passion or a personal mission.

We thought a better question was, “What will you DO when you grow up?” That led to more questions, and then more questions.

The idea is to celebrate all kinds of work and all kinds of people. Dear Graduate gives the reader a moment to stop and think deliberately about the decisions and life ahead.

At $15.99, it is not much more than a greeting card these days and makes a great gift for high school or college graduates, or even kindergarten or elementary school.Or it’s great for anyone!