Valedictory Speakers

Pollock, Lauren Ferrier

Aloha!

Good evening President Bannister, Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, family, friends and fellow graduates.

I am honored to be representing the College of Nursing and Health Sciences on this unforgettable evening. It has been quite the journey. 

My path to nursing began while working in a Boston hospital where I discovered the unique role of the nurse — to deliver competent healthcare without forsaking caring and compassion. Here at Hawai‘i Pacific University I knew I had found my calling. I also found myself far from my family in Massachusetts and pretty much alone with my husband deployed to Afghanistan. In no time at all I learned the meaning of “ohana” as all the wonderful people I have met at HPU became my family.

We have all had our individual challenges to overcome and we have all made sacrifices to be here today. We have said goodbye to our extracurricular activities, our tans and our social lives all to dedicate ourselves more fully to this demanding undergraduate program. 

I would like to recognize our loved ones for their sacrifices as well. They have given us up to our books and laptops and many of them have taken on our roles as husbands, wives and parents. 

For my fellow BSN graduates, our work is not done. We ask our families and friends to hang with us just a little longer as we prepare for licensure. In the coming months we will look back to our faculty mentors for inspiration. May we follow in your footsteps of life-long learning and recognize that the letters BSN, RN are just the beginning. 

Tonight, however, we will celebrate an accomplishment to be shared by all. Let us each take a moment to thank those whose love, support, patience and encouragement have carried us through our careers at HPU.

I would like to thank my mom and dad, Betsy and Peter Smith, and my sister, Lindsay, who are here tonight for always believing in me. To my dear husband, Justin, you are my biggest fan. Thank you. I love you all!

To my fellow graduates and my friends, you have given me the courage to stand up here tonight. I would also like to thank Professor Kamomilani Anduha-Wong, you have been my role model since Level 1. Professor Lise Choucair, you have my leadership coach and cheerleader this semester. Thank you both for your guidance. I have been both blessed and humbled by this opportunity. 

Tonight, let us all count our blessings together and enjoy this moment! Mahalo and congratulations graduating class of spring 2012!