Valedictory Speakers

Lewis, Jay

Thank you Dean Cyboron.

President Wright, members of the Board of Trustees, distinguished faculty, family, friends, and fellow graduates: Aloha and good evening.

I am honored to represent the Military Campus Programs, but I would not be here tonight without the dedication of the MCP faculty and staff.  They take personal interest in each student’s needs which gives us the ability to continue our education under very unusual circumstances.  Archimedes once said “give me a lever and a place to stand and I can move the world”.  The Military Campus Programs has provided me with that place to stand, and I feel as if I have moved the world by finally making it here tonight.  Their support, along with HPU’s online courses, were even there with me during my recent deployment to Afghanistan. 

I remember one very interesting night while I was there…  I was up late studying in my tent when we experienced one of the frequent enemy rocket attacks.  When that first rocket hits you dash to the safety of a concrete bunker and wait it out.  That night we had several separate attacks and I began to wonder while sitting in the bunker, why didn’t I bring my books?  When the next wave of rockets came in I tried to remember to bring them with me.  In all the excitement, I never really did get that one right.

Along with this graduation I have reached another milestone, my retirement from the Army on June 1st after 20 years of service.  I am confident as I make the transition into civilian life and I wish the same confidence for my fellow graduates as you pursue your goals.

Thank you to my loving departed parents.  I’m sure they’re proud looking down tonight, even though I took 27 years beyond high school to finally graduate.  Thank you to my beautiful wife Yvonne.  She single-handedly kept our home functioning and raised our two wonderful children.  I love you and could not have done it without you.  Welcome to my brother Matt and his family who traveled from New York to be here tonight.  He is my hero and proof that higher education is priceless.

In closing I offer a special congratulations to my fellow graduating service members, and a sincere thank you and safe passage to those defending freedom around the world tonight. 

God bless and Mahalo.