Remarks from Christopher Lynn-Logue, Master’s Student Representative

Class of 2013 Convocation

So we’re here, convocation 2013. From the first day we walked into our agencies to Hurricane Sandy to that final assignment we handed in seven days ago, it’s been a struggle. But Frederick Douglass once said “without struggle, there is no progress,” so we rejoice today knowing that for the time being the struggle is over and a certain level of progress has been reached. In a few short moments we’ll hear our names called and get to walk across this stage, wave at our families taking the photos, shake the dean’s hand, grab that piece of paper that isn’t quite our degree and call ourselves Masters of Social Work. We’ve earned it.

As well prepared as Silver has made us, we know that we are actually far from truly mastering social work. We know that mastery of this profession is a lifelong journey and we are here celebrating the first step. Tomorrow we continue towards true mastery, and as we do I’d like to offer us a few pieces of advice that will help us along the way.

The first is that we keep on learning. We know this profession to be vast and ever growing. Our knowledge must reflect this growth. We must be well versed in various theories, modalities, and ways to help solve problems. Additionally, we must continue to learn more about ourselves as we grow within this profession and within our lives. Just as we made a commitment to learn while we were here at Silver, let’s make the commitment to continuously learn more now that we are leaving.

My second piece of advice is to be great, even greater than we are now. Wake up every morning and understand that being good is not good enough. The situations we are faced with, communities we are placed in, clients we work with require greatness. Ask yourself, “What else can I do to help my client, is my program delivering this service the best way possible, is my agency fulfilling its mission?”

Finally, I offer this: believe in something greater than yourself, social justice. No matter what we do or who we work with, the lack of social justice plays a role in the lives of all of our clients. We cannot rest until every human being is treated equally regardless of their race, gender, class, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and socioeconomic status. That is a socially just society. That is what we must believe in, what we must spend every day fighting for and if need be putting our lives on the line for.

As I leave you now, I’d like to say it has been an honor serving as your GSA president. Rejoice in our progress thus far; be aware of our continued journey towards true mastery. Keep on learning. Be great. Believe in and fight for social justice. Thank you.

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