Commencement May 2012: Afternoon Speaker

Commencement May 19, 2012: Afternoon Speaker Sarah Blondeaux
Transcript available [+]

Thank you Dr. Dudley-Eshbach, Dr. Allen, faculty, staff, family, friends, and the Salisbury
University graduating class of 2012.  

It feels like yesterday that I began my college education at a small, ugly, unfriendly place
nestled in the corner of Maryland. That place was not Salisbury University. From the
very beginning it seemed as though something was missing. I woke up every morning
with a vacant feeling hanging over my shoulders and I went to bed every night telling
myself that there was absolutely no way that I could put up with this every day for
another four or more years. I had to get out.

I began looking for another school which proved to be harder that I thought it would be
simply because I had no idea what I was looking for. Something was missing but I didn’t
know what, exactly until I toured this quaint campus. My life was changed during that
simple hour-long tour. I witnessed many things that I had yet to find in a university. Not
only did I see a beautiful campus, a faculty that cared, and many opportunities waiting
for me, but little things, like decent food, that made all the difference. Once at Salisbury,
I became a tour guide myself so that I could help people to make their own life changing
decisions. During every tour and every day I noticed the beautifully groomed campus
around me.

I am also honored to have worked with such an outstanding faculty. An array of
different professors helped to guide my education by helping me to finally decide on a
major, simply saying “hello” as I passed them in the hallway, staying later than they
wanted to help me when I needed it, sending me to study abroad, finding conference
opportunities for me, and giving  me direction for my future. Each and every one of
them proved to me that they truly wanted me to do well. When I came to that
conclusion I no longer had that vacant feeling and I finally found what I had been
missing.  Aside from an outstanding hand-picked faculty, it is easy to notice the bond of a
community on our strange campus. I do not personally know most of you graduating
today but still I feel that we are one body because really we all have the same important
knowledge: who makes the best stir-fry in the commons; which ketchup dispenser never
works; when and where to park to ensure a spot without a trip to east campus to pay a
ticket; what the most direct path is around the never ending construction; when and
when not to go to the fitness center; and how to hover in the library to finally get a
chance at a working computer. Even though tomorrow I will be an elementary school
teacher, someone here in the front may work in I.T., and yet another in the back may
head to grad school, tomorrow we will all be Salisbury University Alumni and that’s what
binds us.  

As anxious as we all have been to graduate, move away, and do something spectacular
with our lives, I feel that this day has come too quickly. I do not think that any of us can
deny that we are going to miss being told that we are loved on our way into The
Commons, getting emails from Sammy the Seagull, or racing to add classes to our
shopping carts at 7AM. And even if today you graduate, move away, and spectacular is
not what you thought it was going to be, you will always have Salisbury to fall back on.  
I always will remember the sense of community and I will always have the experience,
tools, and motivation that I have been given by the people that I came in contact with
everyday.  Salisbury taught me how to learn, to live, and to lead and gave me exactly
what I was looking for. Even though I began my college education empty and vacant, I
am graduating whole and complete. I am graduating a Seagull. We did it!

Thank you.

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