Valedictory Speakers

Puckett, Jason

Thank you, Dean Cyboron

President Wright, Members of the Board of Trustees, Faculty, Graduates, Families, Friends and guests.

Welcome and Aloha,

I am truly honored to have been selected to represent the Military campus program here tonight.

12 years ago this June I finished high school by the skin on my teeth. I had a 1.7 GPA and just enough classes to graduate. One month later with no real options and life at a standstill I left for boot camp. The military provided me with direction, stability, and a path forward; in much the same way that the instructors here at HPU have guided us. For many of those in the Military Campus Program they do this not because they have to, but because they want to. Their vast experience, knowledge, and quality of instruction far exceeded my expectations for education received on a military base. We are grateful for the opportunity to know you as our educators and to you I give my most sincere thanks.

Through the long deployments, numerous duty days, and for some of us the months and years at war, we have persevered. What we have attained today should not be taken lightly but should be revered, as all of us have struggled to arrive here at this pinnacle of education. Theodore Roosevelt once said; “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat”. Classmates, today is a day of triumph.

I truly believe that you will get out of life what you put into it and that hard work and dedication are the building blocks of our future successes. Be proud of yourselves tonight and remember that tomorrow a new journey begins.

I would like to thank my family. My parents, who gave me my foundation from which to build. My wonderful children; Logan, Lydia, Mackenzie, Maddie, and Peyton, for reminding what the most important things in life really are. And mostly I want to thank my beautiful wife Tina, Tina, without your unselfish love and support I would not be standing here today.

Graduates, Don’t ever stop improving yourselves. Thank you.