Stephens College December Commencement 2009
College conferred 40 bachelor’s and 21 master’s degrees,
and 2 HIA certificates, upon its graduates during the December Commencement
ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009, in the Kimball Ballroom of Lela
Raney Wood Hall. A total of 40 graduates participated.
To view all the Commencement photos and order, visit http://recess.zenfolio.com/stephensgrad/.
Read this year's commencement speeches:
Dr. Dianne Lynch :: Paulina Ramirez :: Melynda Schlude
Dr. Dianne Lynch, Stephens College president
Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years.
No one would sleep that night. The world would become religious overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory and wonder of our world, and our God.
Instead, the stars come out every night, and we sit inside, watching The Office and working on our laptops.
Stephens has prepared you for the lives that await you.
The glory and wonder of those lives rest not in these momentous cultural rituals -- although they are wonderful in their own way -- but in the opportunities, the moments, the stars -- the Stephens Stars -- that surround us.
My advice -- my charge -- to you is that you take the time to SEE them, to experience them, to know them and be amazed by them.
My directive to you is that you must be a lifelong learner, knowing that the best lessons you will learn are those that are informed by your education, expanded by your experience, and inspired by your passion.
Paulina Ramirez, undergraduate representative
Paulina Ramirez of McAllen, Texas, graduated with a B.S. in Marketing, Public Relations & Advertising. She is moving to New York City, where she will work with AOL in corporate events.
Good morning faculty, staff, my fellow peers, and parents.
Today we are gathered in a room of history, Kimball Ballroom in Lela Raney Wood Hall. Built in 1938 over 90 days, it has seen 71 years of Stephens history. I encourage you now to look around and imagine the past history that once stood here. Registration; orientation; spring formals, which were a rather extravagant event; themed dances, such as Halloween Valentine’s; and Christmas bazaars, where clubs and organizations sold fundraising materials, were all held here. Most now know the area to our right as a kitchen but it once held a meeting ground for clubs and organizations to plan volunteer opportunities, fundraisers and events.
After closing for renovations in 1995 the ballroom was reopened in 2006, ready to embark on new traditions for Stephens’ history. From wedding receptions, President Lynch’s Inauguration—with a tap dance! I doubt anyone will forget that—convocation at the beginning of the year and now, our commencement.
But I am not here to give you a history lesson on Stephens. I’m here to talk about the future, our future. Today marks our last moment as undergraduates at Stephens.
We all came to Stephens with butterflies in our stomach wondering if we would like it, who would be our friends and how hard the classes were going to be. But beyond all that we came here with the passion for higher education. A passion strong enough that it helped drive our sleepless nights in the design labs testing our creativity, writing papers or capstones and adding finishing touches on projects until we saw the sun rise. Most of us here shared those crazy moments together, always helping each other along the way. But it’s our passion and long nights that got us where we are today, beginning our history as Stephens alumnae.
German poet Georg Wilhelm Hegel said “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” For us there is no difference, without passion we could not be successful. Remember the young student, with stones in her stomach, when you enter the world filled with people who will both help us succeed and watch us fail.
And, unfortunately, failure is something we will all experience … But at the heart of a Stephens Woman there is a perpetual fire that will not yield to shortcomings and momentary setbacks. Before me are women of grit and substance, made ready for success by their own hard work and passion … A will never to surrender.
Without our passion we would all be walking around staring at each other wondering what we were doing. We wouldn’t have gone to college and we definitely wouldn’t be graduating today. That is not us! Instead, we are women who fought to bring and keep passion in our lives. Whether it is through business, writing, fashion, science, art history, equestrian, interior design—whatever your passion may be.
As your classmate I’d like to encourage
and challenge all the women before me to never lose passion. If you
have to wear a ribbon on your finger to remind yourself about it, do
it. Or have Post-its on your desk, agenda, at work—wherever you
can see it every day and remind yourself what you are working for, most
importantly, to never forget the young woman you are today: fearless,
intelligent, sassy and full of passion.
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Melynda Schlude, graduate representative
Melynda Schlude of Columbia, Mo., received an M.Ed. in Counseling with an emphasis in School Counseling and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Starting in January, Schlude will begin her new job as an MU Research Associate, working in conjunction with Columbia Public Schools to help implement a social competence curriculum for students with special needs. After graduation, Schlude also plans to begin working on her LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) licensure hours working with children, adolescents and their families.
Good Morning-President Lynch, Board of Trustees, Members of the Faculty and Staff, Members of the 2009 December graduating class, families and friends.
I am honored to have the opportunity to address you
We made it! I look around this room and see many smiling, happy and proud faces, as there should be. We’ve had those stressful days of juggling our "normal daily lives," while attempting to find the time to complete assignments, and maybe occasionally wondering throughout the pursuit of our degree "Is this all really worth it?" Through these stressful times however, we’ve made memories that will last for years and friendships that will most definitely continue long into the future.
Future-Webster’s Dictionary defines the word future as “the time yet to come”; a prospective-especially one considered with regard to growth, advancement or development. We are here today to celebrate and embrace our future.
When I began exploring graduate programs in counseling, I was immediately drawn to the opportunities that Stephens College offered to earn a graduate degree in counseling. The information that I read talked about "the non-traditional" student at Stephens. I had a brief period of nervousness when I realized that “I” was this non-traditional student they were referring to. I had been a stay-at-home mom for the past 8 years and it had been 17 years since I had last sat in a college classroom. I knew that I was in trouble the first evening of class when my professor talked about saving our presentations for class on a USB Storage Stick, and not knowing what this was, quickly realized that floppy discs were apparently a thing in the past. Things had definitely changed.
Change- Life is about change. Most of us have probably experienced change as we have pursued our degrees over these past several years. We’ve had to juggle busy schedules, spending time with our families and friends and find that "extra" time to study, read, write papers and prepare projects. Some of us may feel that we have changed physically, emotionally, mentally or maybe we’ve experienced some type of change in all of these areas over the past several years.
“Things do not change; we change.” ~ Henry Thoreau
Change can make us stronger. We have all become stronger individuals as we have worked on earning our degrees from Stephens College. We have been influenced by our professors who have taught and challenged us. We have made friendships that we can choose to carry into both our professional and personal world, for years to come. As we all take the degrees we have earned out in to this world, we should do it with confidence, pride and determination.
"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." ~ Albert Einstein
A friend of mine, one who I feel blessed to have met during my graduate studies, shared a Hebrew/Franciscan blessing at her Stephens graduation this past May. Because it inspired me, in closing, I would like to share it with you.
May you be blessed with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you will live deep within your heart.
May you be blessed with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, equality, and peace.
May you be blessed with the tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you will reach out your hand to comfort them and change their pain into joy.
And may you be blessed with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done.
It is a pleasure sharing this day with all of you. Good Luck and Congratulations!