Graduating Greyhounds 2015: In Their Own Words

By Brigid Hamilton  |  Photos courtesy of the members of the Class of 2015

Every spring some of the top students of the senior class at Loyola are invited to write the speech they would deliver to their fellow graduates at Commencement.

Only one gets to deliver the student speech on the big day. This year Nicholas George will deliver the address.

Loyola magazine invited the other students to let us share them with our readers, for although they are never delivered, they are inspiring and reflective.

Courtney Burnett, ’15

The other night as my roommates and I sat around the television, one girl opened a YouTube video, that was a configuration of all the most memorable of dance scenes in movies over the past few decades. As we laughed and smiled, I could not help but make the connection as to how much the act of dancing reminded me of the college experience.

Like learning a new dance move, we all came into freshman year uncertain as to how we were to interact in this new world. Some of us were naturals, while the majority of us struggled to find that steady rhythm. Yet with some practice, things became more comfortable.

Over the years, we have all acquired new skills and moves, crafting unique styles to reach our goals. Every now and then we may have caught ourselves off beat, but were able to work our way back into the groove with a tireless dedication. It is that moment, when the music is right and everything comes seamlessly together, that we find ourselves in a state of pure happiness, confidence and empowerment.

Maybe this moment is here for you right now, but if not that is okay too. We have done the work and have deserved the honor to sit here today. This is our time to embrace all that Loyola has given us and to look to the future with a passion to blaze new trails.

Patricia Fox, 15

As I prepare to go forth and set the world on fire, I am constantly amazed to hear about what my peers at Loyola are planning to do after graduation, whether it is working at their dream job, teaching abroad, doing mission work, furthering their education, or entering the medical field.

In fact, my peers inspire me with their desire to use their Loyola education to better themselves, their community, and the even the world.

We are going to carry with us the mission of Loyola with everything that we do. I, along with the class of 2015, will go forth and set the world on fire as we embodied the mission of Loyola. I am honored to be a part of such a talented and inspirational graduating class and grateful to have been able to attend Loyola.

Dominick Proto, 15

I heard a quote last year that really struck me when thinking about going into senior year:

“Whenever we think we know the future, even for a second it changes. Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely, and we’re left only with the choice of what to do next. We can choose to be afraid of it, to stand there trembling, not moving, assuming the worst that can happen, or we step forward into the unknown and assume it will be brilliant.”

May we all have a bright future as we chase and achieve our most wildest dreams. If you’ve accomplished any dreams in the last four years here, then the best is really yet to come.

Thank you to my family, friends, and colleagues for all their love and support.

Alexa Giammarino, 15

I’m not sure what exactly caught my attention once I entered Alumni Chapel on that dark, rainy night, but it was something beautiful, something that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life.

Gleaming lights illuminated the delicately handcrafted stained glass while the vibrato from the choir filled every crevice of the church. I stood in amazement to see the great number of students flood the pews; as if a cloud of comfort encircled me, I soon found myself joining in song and holding hands in prayer with the strangers around me. I had never seen most of these students, but they didn’t seem foreign, for I felt a sense of community.

As if the stress dissipated right from my body, I was able to see the good in what Loyola had to offer. No judgments, just smiles, no hatred, just love.

I saw each student as a potential piece of my life, a new piece of my heart and another part of my family for which I would be able to count on, trust and love.

Sean Munier, 15

The best defense mechanism against the sadness that comes with leaving a place as special as Loyola is celebration: celebration of both where we have come from, and where we are going.

As I reflect upon what life after Loyola will be like, I am comforted by one unmistakable truth; 2015 is an extraordinarily exciting time to be alive, young, and ambitious. The world today is growing faster than ever, and the opportunities to take part in that growth are endless…

As graduation approaches, we not only say goodbye to the place that we’ve called home for the last four years, but also thank you. Thank you, Loyola, for imparting on us the tenacity and courage to stand up and take action, wherever we may be. Thank you for an education that has not only prepared us for careers in the real world, but has also challenged us to think bigger and bolder. Thank you for midnight breakfast, and for grilled cheese night in the Newman Lobby.

But most of all, Loyola, thank you for bestowing upon us the memories, friends, and wisdom that we will forever cherish.

Anna DeBlasio, 15

As an English and theatre double major, my time at Loyola has been spent working with stories. Reading stories, singing stories, observing stories, living stories. We are all storytellers. As members of society and ultimately the world, our stories are woven together to form a tapestry. We are called to embrace this reality and pay attention to one another’s stories…

As young Jesuit scholars, we are encouraged to be people for and with others. Throughout my time at Loyola, I have learned that the most effective way to act for others is to understand. And the best way to understand is to be attentive to the stories around us. Listening with our eyes, ears, minds, and hearts allows us to understand our fellow people, and this understanding breeds joy and peace.

As we move on to the next chapters of our lives, we can look back with gratitude on our Loyola education. I hope that we can continue to set the world on fire, nurturing our own flames, as well as others. We can use our individual fires, our gifts, our talents, and our God-given sparks of energy to ignite the rest of the world, and to heal it.

To read more stories about this year’s Graduating Greyhounds, visit our 2015 Commencement page.

Bookmark and Share

No Comments

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment