"As I look out among everyone here, I recognize that each of us have gone through many obstacles and successes to be here today. Some of us are graduating after 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 or many more years here at Siena Heights University. Many of us did this while working, participating in athletics, supporting a family, engaging in the arts, being active members of the community and all the while still successfully completing our coursework. No matter where or how each of us started this journey, as individuals/unique threads, we used each of our threads to come together to create the tapestry of Siena’s graduating class of 2008.
Each of us made it to today, our graduation, and should be incredibly proud of what we have accomplished.
Thinking back on my first tour of Siena Heights over five years ago, I felt immediately at home by the welcoming family atmosphere. From that day on, I know that we have all witnessed that Siena is not just an institution, but a nurturing family. While obtaining our higher education Siena has allowed each of us to maintain our own individuality, as distinct as a thread, no matter the texture, the length or the color. We were all accepted and urged to grow and be ourselves.
Think back to each course, sport, or organization that you were involved in while here at Siena Heights University. Now think of the advisors, coaches, community leaders, professors, and staff that have been here for each and every one of us. I know, personally, of several instances where I have met with Philosophy, Education, Theatre, Biology and even Math professors in their offices any time I needed even just a little extra help or another opportunity to figure out a specific assignment, and I know that many of you can say the same thing about your experience here. Faculty and staff at Siena may say that they are lucky to have students like us, but I know that each of us feel honored and grateful that we matter to this family on a deeper level, that is what makes it, OUR SIENA.
While maintaining our own individual thread, we have still come together to create a magnificent tapestry. Each of us sitting here today, students, faculty and staff have such strong and colorful threads that make us who we are. Throughout our years here at Siena, we have all been able to collaborate, with our own distinctive ideas and live, and still never loose sight of who we are.
We are not just college graduates; we have become life long learners. Each of us have heard Siena’s mission over and over throughout the years. Now it is time to take a minute and really see how our mission has affected us.
Our mission at Siena Heights University is to become more competent, purposeful, and ethical members of this world.
Yes we know who we are and know how to collaborate with others, now it is the time to take what we know and apply it to the world beyond.
Siena has taught us to be life-long learners who are caring citizens of the earth and care about peace, individual lives and the entire world that we live in.
It is my honor to stand before you and represent the graduating class of 2008
Today is a time to reflect on when we struggled, when we succeeded, all the while staying true to ourselves, our thread.
It is now up to us to take what we have learned during our time at Siena and apply it to the next step in our lives. Doing so with pride and honor knowing what each one of us has accomplished and keep strengthening our own threads and adding to more and more tapestries.
As a graduating class, we make a magnificent tapestry as faculty, family and friends look over us with pride, exuberance, respect, and fulfillment.
I invite each of you to reflect and share memories, laughs and stories about your time here at Siena Heights University. Today is the day to celebrate everything that we have done and to take a minute to let it all sink in.
CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2008!!! WE DID IT!!!"