Valedictory Speakers

Dihne, Anna Yvonne


President Wright, members of the board of trustees, faculty and staff, family, friends, and fellow graduates. It is an honor to share this evening with all of you.

It is here, alongside our peers and loved ones, under the beautiful hue of a radiant sunset, that we celebrate the ideals of honor, esteem, and righteousness.

The honor of accomplishment through self-reliance, the esteem we have for this institution, and the righteousness of attaining full claim to our efforts.

In time, we will receive our diplomas; pieces of paper that represent the sum of our hard work. Pieces of paper that - to each of us - signify the labor and sacrifice required to rise this evening and be recognized for our accomplishments.

It is with a humble sense of pride that we stand before these people knowing that our individual efforts brought us to this moment.

This is the honor we celebrate.

Tonight is also an acknowledgement of the academy and our professors; the institution that has endowed us on this occasion. It is our mentors, and the great minds that walked before them, who advance the knowledge that has been imparted upon us.

In this, we recognize our role as pupils, and we respect the wisdom of our educators.

This is the esteem we celebrate.

Finally, we gather here this evening to receive just recognition for our efforts. These diplomas embody ownership of our labor, title to our sacrifice.

It is our name written across their face, and no other person can take claim of this reward.

So rise with dignity, knowing that your achievements, personified in this evening's commencement, belong to you entirely.

This is the righteousness we celebrate.

In closing, I would like to leave you with a quote from Ayn Rand. An ardent promoter of individualism and free enterprise, she often spoke of the supreme pride that one felt as a result of their efforts. In the words of Ms. Rand:

"Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man's values, it has to be earned."

Graduates, congratulations; and enjoy the rest of this happy occasion!