Valedictory Speakers

Lopiccolo, Dustin

Thank you Dr. Jones for that humbling introduction. I would first like to acknowledge President Wright, Mayor Hannemann, fellow graduates, families and friends both here and to those who could not attend and to all those watching online. It is truly an honor to be selected for this prestigious distinction. Thank you all for finding the time to share in our moments of triumph and collective sighs of relief as we enter into a bright new future of possibilities at this 71st graduation ceremony of Hawai`i Pacific University.

In 2000, my bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Hawai`i Pacific University immediately landed me a job as a Marine Research Technician at Oceanic Institute. Soon afterward, my undergraduate degree took me as far as I could go. In spring of 2007, with some firm encouragement from my wife Shanie, I returned to school to earn a Master’s degree along side all of you. Years of long sleepless nights later we find all our hard work and effort culminating at this grand occasion. I don’t want to dwell on the difficulties we underwent to achieve our degrees. Instead, I offer some thoughts when entering a technical career field.

Appreciate constructive criticism and learn from advice given by those with experience. Take the time to listen to others trying to help. It is very possible they are privy to information you are not aware of. Professional careers, trade secrets and even entire businesses are at risk by careless mistakes and abuse of privileged access. Be steadfast in your conviction to privacy and prove to your superiors that you have the fortitude to uphold and defend not only your position but the trust that others have confided in you. Finally, be willing to share your knowledge and experiences with others. Hording information only stifles advancement and ultimately builds walls, not bridges.

I am whole heartedly thankful for the encouragement of my friends the love of my family, and all of that and so much more from my beautiful wife Shanie. Without her determination and overwhelming support I would not be here today

In conclusion, as graduates, we have been given the means with which to plant our own success. It is now up to us to nurture those plants, because we shall undoubtedly reap what we sow. The futures that we create will be ones that make us, and those who believe in us, proud.

Congratulations Class of 2008 and may our skills lead success to find each of us. Goodnight and Thank you all once again.