President Wright, members of the Board of Trustees, distinguished faculty, family, friends, and most importantly, graduating class of Hawai`i Pacific University; good evening.
I am honored to represent the Military Campus Programs as the valedictory speaker. I would like to acknowledge three groups who are responsible for our success. I would like to thank the parents and family members who had a significant influence in our lives. Their continued support and unconditional love have set the example for us to follow; the faculty of this great institution which has provided their love for their profession and has enabled us to achieve our goals; and the men and women who are fighting to support the global war on terrorism. Their commitment enables us to be here tonight. To all of you we sincerely thank you for your sacrifices and commitment.
Prior to this evening, all of us graduating shared a common goal: attaining our degree. That dream becomes reality tonight. Goal setting allows people to challenge themselves beyond what they may have thought to be possible, and tonight we are witnesses to challenges that were overcome. Through sacrifice, desire, and determination, life’s struggles and challenges can and will be defeated.
Sacrifice is the cornerstone of all great accomplishments. We would not have made it to this point without making sacrifices; however, the real individuals who sacrificed are the families. This graduation is just as much for you as it is for us. When we combine your sacrifice with our desire, outstanding results will happen. While striving for those outstanding results and to live productive lives we should always possess a burning desire for excellence. Having the willpower to change the quality of our lives is embodied in every graduate here. Too often that ever present enemy named “sidetrack” rears its ugly face; however, those graduating tonight remained steadfast and vigilant and allowed nothing to impede their strides.
We have run a steady race and completed one major accomplishment in our lives. This could not have been done without determination. In life there will be several doors that will ultimately be opened for us. However, as one door is closed, there are several others that await our knock. We must be determined to not falter at the close of a door but persevere in times of despair.
As I close, I would like to thank my mother and father as well as my wife and kids for their sacrifice, in support of my efforts. I hope that I am a role model for my children, and other aspiring military members. We should be proud of our accomplishments and forever seek to leave our mark on the world. Thank you!