Valedictory Speakers

Creamer, Kathryn H.

President Wright, Chairman Aull, Members of the Board of Trustees, Faculty, fellow graduates, families, friends and guests.

It is a pleasure and honor to be speaking on behalf of the undergraduate class this evening.

About six years ago, I was unhappy where my life was and knew something was missing. While channel surfing, I started watching the Reverend Jesse Jackson speaking at Creighton University on CSPAN. Not that I'm in the habit of watching CSPAN, I watched Rev. Jackson for over an hour. His words spoke to me. He talked about the "comfort zone" we all have and the need for us to go beyond it in order to make a difference in ourselves and the world around us. I knew right then that I had not challenged myself and I was letting fear prevent me from going back to school.

Everyone has an idea of what their "comfort zone" is. For some, moving to the other side of a room is a big step. For others, it is venturing to the other side of the island. For some, going to the other side of the world is what challenges them.

When I think of my comfort zone, I envision a big, cushy couch with lots of pillows, without a care in the world. Sounds nice. I can assure you, if I had stayed on that couch, I wouldn't be here tonight.

Tonight is the culmination of many years of hard work, sleepless nights, endless papers and exams. As we look back on what we have accomplished, we must ask ourselves, what are we to do next, where are we to go. Our work is just beginning. We must move forward and challenge ourselves and those around us.

As we walk across this stage and receive our diplomas, we will be closing the door on this college experience. We have been laying down the stepping stones everyday to reach tonight. With every class completed, every exam taken, a stone was placed that brought us closer to this point.

HPU has prepared us well for the future paths we will take. We have had the experience of learning in a beautiful setting, with wonderful professors and classmates from all over the country and the world. This long awaited moment is also bittersweet. We will miss our classmates, our friends and the faculty that helped to educate us and change our lives. We will miss the security of school and personally, I'll miss the long vacations.

Worth noting are the achievements of our international graduates who have amazed us with their ability everyday and those graduates with husbands, wives and children who were somehow able to balance school and family. At times, I was barely able to take care of myself. And a special note to my fellow BSN graduates. We did it !!! and I'll miss you.

Thank you to all of our friends and family that are here to share this special event with us. Of course, we would not be here without your support. I especially would like to thank my family for their love and support over these last six years as I went back to school for the second time and pursued a completely different field. Lastly, a special thank you to my fiance, Dan. I couldn't have made it without you and I love you.

And to my fellow graduates, may your future be blessed with health and happiness. Remember, while there is a time for relaxing and sitting on that proverbial couch, don't get too comfortable. Goodnight and thank you.