Valedictory Speakers

Peace, Katrina

Thank you, Dean Cyboron.

President Wright, Members of the Board of Trustees, Faculty, fellow graduates, family, and friends: Aloha and Good evening.

It is an honor to represent my fellow military campus graduates. These are students who persevered through their studies while facing challenges and making sacrifices unique to military life. Diverse in every way imaginable, with only their ties to the military to bring them together, their willingness to share their thoughts and experiences made for an incredibly rich learning environment. I ask everyone to remember those military campus students who could not join us this evening due to military obligations.

Anthropologist Jennifer James once said, "Success is not a destination that you ever reach. Success is the quality of the journey."

We've completed this journey and now we are ready to walk across this stage and reap the benefits of our hard work. Looking back, we can see that success from this journey cannot be measured in terms of salary or G.P.A. Success can be found in how, throughout the journey, we grew as individuals and in the ways our lives were forever changed by what we learned from one another.

Participating in class discussions and working in groups gave us a glimpse of the world through the eyes of our classmates. It taught us to never underestimate or assume to know what another person brings to the table. Passing difficult exams and writing papers out of mountains of notes and research helped us to believe in our abilities to conquer any challenge. Perhaps the most important lesson we received was in humility. The more we learned, the more we became aware of all we didn't know. We realized a yearning for more knowledge and the wisdom that for some questions there are simply now black and white answers.

Fellow graduates, as you apply all that you've learned from textbooks and lectures to your future journeys, don't allow the lessons in open-mindedness, confidence, and humility to be packed away with your caps and gowns. Instead, make the qualities you've gained from this journey be what defines your success in the next.

Good luck graduates and Mahalo!