Valedictory Speakers

Doronio, Wendy L.

President Wright, Members of the Board of Trustees, Faculty, Students, Families, and Guests.

Today marks a significant personal accomplishment in my life. New Years day, three years ago, I found myself reflecting on my life, my accomplishments, and where I was not. Through this soul searching, I realized that there were other journeys to take and decided to pursue my life long dream of acquiring a baccalaureate in nursing.

This was a grand scale dream for someone who had been out of school for 13 years. I knew this journey would be long and frightening, but in the end, very rewarding. The fear of failure was always present as well as the awareness of the sacrifices and hardships that I would have to endure.

Taking the first little step was the hardest, but after three short years and many steps, at the beginning of a new millennium, I find myself here today addressing my class.

Many individuals often find themselves in the same state, year after year not knowing the full potential that lies within them. O.S. Martin once said: "Deep within man dwell those SLUMBERING POWERS; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing, forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action..." Although Martin says: "Deep within man", we the first graduating class of 2000 are here to testify that deep within every man and woman who sit here before you live forces that have already revolutionized our lives!

The graduates that you see here this evening decided to change the quality of their lives and were committed to doing something about it. We dared to dream at the highest level, and as a class, we created this goal of becoming an asset to our families, community, and the world. Tonight we realize that dream!

The path however was not an easy road to travel. It tested our faith in ourselves and in our determination to accomplish the goals we had set forth. It meant total commitment to the field which we were pursuing. This was at times a painful commitment; spending less time with our spouses, children, friends and family.

This road was also a time of humbling. It meant more time for RECEIVING than giving on our parts. We were humbled by the generosity of the families, friends, faculty and the community who supported and believed in us throughout the years. They were truly the wind beneath our wings in achieving our dreams of being here tonight.

As students we spent many hours together, shared many happy memories, and individual struggles. The song "Lean On Me" comes to mind when I think of all the times we leaned on each other for support when times were full of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty about the future.

We may not all be together in the next phase of our work or education, but we have learned while at Hawai'i Pacific University how to access our "SLUMBERING POWERS" and how to receive from others with love.

As I end my speech this evening, I want to leave each graduate with this thought from some unknown author: "Nothing is impossible. Reach for the moon for the worst thing that could happen to you is that you'll end up among the stars."

We are there! Among the stars! On the moon! And going beyond! May all your journeys in this new millennium be as rich as this has been!