This is an example of graduation inspirational. This document is useful in conducting graduation inspirational.
Shared by: MaryJeanMenintigar
Good afternoon faculty, staff, administration, Board of Directors, Dr. Kathleen Owens, family and friends, and closest to my heart this afternoon, the graduating class of 2008, It is hard to believe that 4 years ago, I stepped foot on this campus and today I will be walking off. As I think about the past four years, it amazes me how much of a pivotal time in my life, seems like it was just a blink of an eye. For those of you who do not know who I am, my name is Robert Nonemacker and in a few minutes I will be a proud and distinguished Mercy graduate. A year and a half ago the students of Gwynedd-Mercy College sparked an idea of having a student speaker on graduation day. While I strongly believed in the cause and the purpose, the idea of me actually writing a speech to present was nerve racking and full of anxiety. As I sat down to write this speech, I thought of what I could say to all of you that would create some impact or make a profound statement that would stay with you forever. I spent hours looking up famous graduation speeches and inspirational quotes but everything felt cliché. All I found was the typical “know yourself” and “your journey begins here” phrases. I felt that this speech needed something a little bit more than ordinary quotes, it needed a story. So this is my story as a Gwynedd-Mercy student. If we rewind to four years ago, I was a senior in high school. I was uninvolved, shy, and completely unsure of who I was. While I still am struggling with who I am and what I want out of life, Gwynedd-Mercy College has guided me along to become an outspoken, outgoing, and confident leader of society. When I was graduating from high school I was coming here to Gwynedd with my girlfriend. The mother of a friend of ours said “thank god you are going with him because he would not have any friends if he went alone”. And to this day, that statement motivates me to do more. As I stepped foot on campus, I wanted to change the idea of who people thought I was. I did not want to be the person who needed someone to make them who they were. On the third day of Orientation Weekend, I went to the activities fair. I joined the Peer Mentoring Association, and the Voices of Gwynedd (even though I was not a good singer, ok so I can’t even hold a tune but I thought it would be fun). I also became very involved with Campus Ministry and got involved in service projects and was a member of the very first Alternative Spring Break trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. During the time there I was stretched beyond my comfort zone and had to do things I knew I might not be good at. For example, working with a group of 13 year old middle school children trying to create a play…oh and did I mention that they did not want to write this play…so I figured I would do it. It came out pretty well and they seemed to like me for it, I was proud of myself. This validated my decision to not be an education major. Also, being a shy person, it is very uncomfortable to stand in front of 30 or so elementary children during lunch duty who instead of eating just sat there staring at you while making things up about you as they ask what kind of music you listen to. But in those awkward moments, I found myself and I found true friendships. With one year under my belt, I wanted to do more in my sophomore year. I became a member of the Student Government Association, a member of the Resident Hall Appeals Board, a Griffin Ambassador, and a member of the Psychology club. In my sophomore year, I went back to Cincinnati Ohio for my second ASB trip. This time…it was life changing. While in Cincinnati, I had some opportunities to meet some amazing people. One of those was an elderly woman who lived in a government owned apartment complex for the homeless and disabled. When we first arrived, we found out that she had been diagnosed with cancer and before we entered the door, she got a phone call from the doctor she had seen for a second opinion, and he confirmed her diagnosis. As my heart went out to her, I imagined what I would do in her shoes. She had no family, no money, and as we played a game a simple game of Bingo, I discovered she could also not read. As I stood next to her, I became “her boy”. When she was unsure of what card to flip over, I was there to help her. When the other ladies were making fun of her because she turned over the wrong card or didn’t realize she had the one she needed, I was there to help her. What I realized is why we are Mercy students and what Gwynedd-Mercy College tries to instill within us. Whether we are uneducated or have our Ph.D’s, we all need someone to help us when we don’t know what card to turn over or to show us what cards we do have right in front of our faces. I was not there to tell her what card to pick but to be with her in uncertainty and to support her. With my experiences from ASB, I was called to share these kinds of stories at different venues. It was then that I decided to run to be the President of the Student Government Association. Since I would only be a junior in my term as President, I was unsure if people would see the maturity and passion I had for this position. As of May 2006, I became the first junior to be President. With the role of President, I became a member of every committee, task force, or discussion group you could think of. Working with the administration, faculty, staff, and students of this institution, I became deeply proud to be a member of the Gwynedd-Mercy community. I continued my presidency into my senior year while adding Resident Assistant and Intern to my daily schedule. One of my friends like to call me, “Catherine” as in Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, since I spend so much time on campus and I am so committed to Gwynedd-Mercy College mission. Although it is a little weird being called Catherine, it’s a nice reminder that doing nice things does get recognized. And here I am. Standing in front of you, not as the shy kid everyone thought was timid, but as a confident, strong willed, and professional young man. My story today was not to boast about my accomplishments but to tell you how much one statement or act can change everything. How you have the power to be who you want to be. How a caring community such as Gwynedd-Mercy can help you along and how helping in return is the true reward of success. Deeply rooted in the Gwynedd-Mercy community is our core values which have been embedded within us. We are all here because we posses academic integrity. It’s not so much about the degree you receive today but what you did and how hard you worked to get there. Community and collaboration; look around you. These are your friends, your family, and your mentors with out each other, the journey would have been an even longer road. Compassion, dignity of each person, service, spirit of hospitality and valuing diversity: Although we are all distinguished Mercy graduates, we are all different with unique stories and complex experiences. What makes us distinguished Mercy graduates and sets us apart from all the others, is our devotion to service and a natural ability to be compassionate to all those who surround us. Competence, rigorous intellectual inquiry and integrity: When you take off your caps and gowns today, you will be ready for whatever life has to throw at you. Integrity is the ability to let people know who you truly are, so do not be afraid to do so. Social responsibility: The way todays’ world is going, the world needs us. The world needs more Mercy graduates who hold social responsibility as a core value. Not only to help people figure out what cards they have been dealt but what to do with those cards to make the best hand and for everyone to be treated equally with respect and dignity. Gwynedd-Mercy College has helped me achieve an outstanding goal. Not only to receive my degree, but to make me a better person, a better friend, and a better member of our every changing and challenging world. I will not end my speech by challenging you to change the world or to try to make every dream come true because I know you will. But I challenge you to do this; think before you speak, speak before you act, and act before you give up. I would like to end on one of those cliché quotes that I found. I mean after spending a couple hours reading them, I had to use at least one. It is by Marc S Lewis: “The person you are with most of your life is yourself. And if you do not like yourself, you will be spending a lot of time with someone you don’t like. The way to be happy is to like yourself and the way to like yourself is to do only things that make you proud.” I can honestly say, right now, for this very moment, I truly like myself because I am proud to be a Gwynedd-Mercy College graduate. Thank you and Congratulations!!!!
Shared by: Mary Jean Menintigar