Walsh: ‘Don’t ever be afraid to dream’

BEVERLY — When Marty Walsh was the age of many of those graduating from Endicott College on Saturday, “I was working construction in Boston.”

Walsh had tried college, dropped out, then followed his Irish immigrant father into the construction workers union. “It was hard work but it paid good,” Walsh told the graduates. Still, “I knew deep down inside my body that was not what I wanted to do with my life.”

At the same time, “I didn’t listen to anybody’s advice because I knew too much,” he said. “I was partying too much. I thought I was having fun. And in the spring of 1995, my life came to a crashing halt. I had to check myself into detox for alcoholism. I thought the day that I did that, my life was over. I had no idea that day my life was really beginning.”