Valedictory Speakers

Parent, Tatiana

Good evening and Aloha President Wright, members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, students, families, and guests.

Before I begin I'd like to address the military personnel who have been stationed away from Hawaii, many of whom have been or currently are students at HPU, you're in our thoughts tonight. I'd also like to acknowledge my parents and Grampa Ray for their love and support.

Tonight is the culmination of years of preparation, stress, and study. It's important to reflect on our accomplishments and achievements. Many of us probably had no clue what path we were going to pursue when we first came to HPU. I didn't know if I should choose the major that would land me in a career where I'd make the most money or one which captivated my interests. Luckily for me I was introduced to a major that is just exploding with career opportunities, a lucrative, fast-paced future in East-West Classical Studies. Choosing this field, however, has changed the course of my life. With a strong background in ancient history I felt better prepared to embark on a graduate degree in Diplomacy and Military Studies and employ ancient historical examples to contemporary diplomatic and military conflicts. Regardless of what path we have chosen we should all reflect upon our time here at HPU, the experiences that were both good and bad, the moments that were unforgettable.

Looking around at this graduating class tonight, we certainly are an ethnically, religiously, and culturally diverse group of men and women. Although we may come from different backgrounds and have different ideologies, we have all learned from each other. Through our triumphs and travails we have received something more than just a textbook education, we have received the tools necessary to allow us not to be limited by our own belief in what we are capable of accomplishing. Rather, we have learned that there are no limits to what can be accomplished. As for myself, I have set realistic goals for my future, nothing too grandiose. After I pursue a doctoral degree in History and win a Pulitzer, I intend on becoming the head of the National Security Agency where I will help facilitate world peace, end world hunger, and abolish poverty. Then, I think I'll settle down and teach Homer to enthusiastic college students.

But for now, I'll leave you with the obligatory cliché, a quote from someone who has certainly influenced my love for education. In 1986, Ferris Bueller said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Thank you for allowing me to speak here at our graduation. Have a wonderful night, and congratulations.

Tatiana Parent
Graduate Class of 2004