Greetings from the Graduating Class
Angela Rae Jones '12, Program for Experienced Learners Graduate
Good morning. It is my honor to welcome you to this forty-ninth Commencement of Eckerd College on behalf of the graduating class of the Program for Experienced Learners and to formally thank our dedicated President Eastman, trustees, faculty, staff, and ASPEC and OLLI members, as well as fellow students, for making our time at Eckerd so valuable.
"Commence" means more than "to begin"; it means "setting into motion." Whether through graduate school, an internship, a career, or service, when we leave here today, we'll steer our education into action. It's rough out there, the economy teetering, but the liberal arts education and enduring friendships we've forged on this campus will rudder us through the chop.
Today, our professors turn into friends, we students morph into alumni, and Eckerd College becomes our alma mater - our nourishing mother. Like good sons and daughters, let's visit her often, particularly on special occasions, and help sustain her throughout the coming years. By giving back whatever we can in time and treasure, the degrees we receive today will grow even stronger and the students who follow us will experience what we have and more.
Ever since the Florida lottery began in 1988, when I dreamed of winning I'd wonder, What would I do if I won a million dollars? For twenty years, my answer never changed: I'd go back to school and study the subjects I love. I would get a bachelor's degree. Today, my fellow graduates, we've all won the lottery. Congratulations!