Valedictory Speakers

Andersson, Veronica

President Wright, faculty and staff, family and friends, good evening.

Jag vill ta detta tillfalle att speciellt valkomna var familj som har kommit till Hawaii anda fran Sverige och Kanarie oarna for att dela denna upplevelse med mig och Patrik.

For those who do not understand Swedish, I just thanked my family for joining us here tonight all the way from Sweden and the Canary islands.

Although, I am nervous to stand here speaking in front of people that I deeply respect, I am also honored to have been chosen to speak on behalf of all the incredible undergraduate students in the class of summer 2007.

I came to HPU from Sweden in 2004 with the intention to do the best academic work I could and make the most out of this experience, but this moment far exceeds any expectations I ever had, and I am very grateful for this opportunity.

Even if graduation appeared to be very distant when school started upon arrival here in beautiful Hawaii, time has passed quickly and tonight our journey has come to an end.

I have to say that graduating is a bittersweet experience; it’s exciting to be starting the next chapter in ones life and to find out what amazing things the future might hold for us, and yet on the other hand it’s sad to leave the place that has been a home away from home for the last few years.

I would like to thank some of the many people that have made my time here at HPU truly memorable: the many great professors that I have had the pleasure to take a class or share a discussion with, especially the professors in the College of International Studies that have provided me with knowledge that has further fueled my desire for life-long learning.

A special thanks to Dean Carlos Juarez who always supported my academic decisions.

As a student worker in the HPU library and as the assistant to Jean Zee in the College of International Studies, I have seen the work that is carried out behind the scenes by the many staff and administrators, and I thank you for your efforts without which HPU would not function as smoothly as it does.

I would like to thank my family and friends whose love and support have kept me motivated and I hope I have made you proud.

I also want to recognize and thank all my classmates in the graduating class of summer 2007. You are what makes HPU so special. I have had the opportunity to travel and I have always considered myself to be a global citizen with a global outlook on life, and still it was not until I got here and met students from every corner of the globe that I realized just how integrated and intertwined the countries and the people of the world really are.

I have learned that although books can provide you with important information, some things need to be experienced.

I have taken classes with students from various parts of the world and the unique insights into other cultures and societies that they have offered me are invaluable, and I thank each and every one of you for contributing your knowledge.

In conclusion, our years here at HPU have provided us with so much more than a good education; we have in a sense been given a chance to encounter and travel the world, and because of this experience, we have become truly global citizens.

Congratulations graduates to your amazing achievements, keep sharing your unique insights and continue to work toward increasing open-mindedness to cultural differences.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Patrik, who in less than 24 hours will become my husband. I could not have made this without you.

Thank you!