Class of 2012 Convocation

Remarks from Elizabeth Fritz, Undergraduate Student Representative

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, fellow graduates, and esteemed faculty. Tonight, we gather for a celebration of knowledge and in recognition of our efforts toward excellence. My name is Elizabeth Fritz, and I’m one of the Undergraduate Student Government Association co-presidents. I’m thrilled to be here tonight, and proud to be emerging from the Silver School with all of you.

Tonight we celebrate. Take a second to breathe into this moment, to appreciate this corner of our universe, of our city. Tonight, we take inventory of our skills, our contributions, our friends, and our investment. While this night is the culmination of our time, energy, and effort, it’s only a marker of better things to come. Today signals a beginning as much as it does an end.

I really am glad to be here. No more classes, readings, discussions. Of course in two weeks I’m going to miss that, but right now, relief is washing over me in waves. Some of us are going on to more formal education, some sitting for exams, some venturing into the professional world we’ve been thinking, writing about, and discussing these past years. Wherever we’re headed, however, I hope we’re taking along a love affair with learning. Our growth doesn’t stop with this walk across the stage, just as it wasn’t really confined to a classroom in the first place.

Between class explorations and field experiences, we’ve been humbled by clients, policy, and the attitude of society today. During my time here, I’ve become enraged, excited, enthused over the state of our world, and have been so grateful to find a family of individuals willing to share in these emotions with me. At the same time, I’ve been encouraged by the amazing amount of care, intelligence, and knowledge this room holds right now. We are continuing our forward trajectory in our celebration tonight.

Thank you to our faculty and administration, for your constant support and dedication to hearing our voices above the din of bureaucracy that can permeate a large university. Thank you for imparting your knowledge in a way that allows us to apply and use it in our work as students yesterday, as graduates tomorrow. Thank you for helping us wade through this process of personal and professional expansion, even though the water sometimes looked as clear as mud to us. We appreciate your guidance and willingness to impart your knowledge and wisdom.

To our family, friends, and cheerleaders in the audience tonight; you rock. Thank you for your energy, support, and faith. You have helped us emerge from this whirlwind of a journey ready to tackle the world. Your confidence, even through our struggles and crises of understanding, is appreciated more than you’ll ever know.

Fellow graduates: there’s nothing you need right now less than luck. Your skills, attitude, knowledge, and passion will see you through the next step, and every stride, leap, and bound that is sure to follow. Congratulations, class of 2012!