‘There’s No Barrier You Cannot Break’
Welcome, President Chrite, trustees, esteemed guests, faculty, staff, parents, family and friends of my fellow graduates. First and foremost, I would like to thank the members of my class for choosing me to represent them on this special occasion. Because of the honor you have bestowed upon me, I humbly stand here today and, thus, I hope to live up to your expectations!
To arrive at this point, this class has travelled a rocky road, set off by a pandemic that disrupted our graduate school experience and prevented us from building enduring memories that we would have enjoyed sharing together. Nevertheless, this journey has made us better leaders, more prepared for this unsettled world and the shaky economy waiting for us.
I could be standing here talking about the challenges that I faced and how good I was in tackling them all. However, having known most of you closely, I realized that my story cannot compare to yours, but knowing that my children are among the attendees, I realized that we all share a common fact: we are surrounded by many people who consider us heroes and role models. They look up to us and aspire one day to be where we are on this day. This notion has led me to adamantly believe that the degree each of us will receive today is more than just a piece of paper that we will frame and hang on the wall; it’s a lifetime source of inspiration and motivation for others.
So, please, during times of hardship, whether you are faced with a challenge or are feeling homesick, always listen to your intuition when it whispers, “Yes you can.” This voice that’s coming from within knows that there’s no limit to your capacity for greatness and there’s no barrier you cannot break. Steve Jobs once said, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” These words have helped me push through the past two years.
And I am here because I did follow that voice. I am glad I did. In fact, if I had to choose one positive outcome of having made it to this day and one of the most important accomplishments since I joined the Bentley community, I will choose meeting, knowing and working with all of you. You are and will remain the biggest assets Bentley has!
So, to all of you, I say, Class of 2023, congratulations! Yes, we have made it through, and yes, we should be proud of what we’ve achieved. And yes, we can now give ourselves a round of applause and say we are officially Bentley alumni!
Go forward today with great pride as you have honored yourself by achieving this remarkable goal in your life! The world awaits you!