‘You learned to succeed’ – Frank Ghiglia
Frank Ghiglia drew inspiration from Arnold Palmer and Ronald Reagan to craft the commencement address he wrote for Brandman University’s Southern San Joaquin Valley ceremony on June 9. Here’s what the M.A. in Teaching graduate, who studied at the Visalia campus, planned to say:
My fellow graduates, and professors who managed to squeak some of us by with a “C” average … we finally made it! This has been a long road for all of us, and you should be proud of your accomplishments today. Some of you made it here in four years or less, others … well, to quote the late Arnold Palmer, “The road to success is always under construction.”
Your journey here did not begin after you left high school, nor did it begin when you started elementary school. From the very moment you were born, you were destined to make your way to this very place, to show the world that you were a force to be reckoned with. You conquered the first day of school, a bully or two along the way; you even found a way to pass your college statistics class! You learned love, you learned loss, you learned what it means to struggle, and you learned what it means to fail. More importantly, you learned to dust yourself off, to persevere … you learned to succeed.
Many of you have sacrificed a lot to be here. So many of you have families of your own and you work tirelessly to provide for them while working and going to school. To the mothers and fathers who kept it all together and still have the hair on their head, I congratulate you. To the graduates who cared for an ill family member or friend or who struggled with a tragic loss during their time at Brandman, I admire your strength and character. To the graduates who have served our nation faithfully in our military so that we may have the opportunity to live in the greatest nation man has ever known, I say, thank you. To the many people in our lives that have influenced, shaped, and guided our growth to this proud moment, many of whom are in the audience today to support our graduates, we thank you. To the faculty and staff of Brandman University, I thank you for the great honor of standing before my peers to offer them words of encouragement on this memorable occasion. On behalf of the graduating class of 2017, I thank you for sharing your wisdom, for giving us your support, and for providing the tools for success we take with us in life.
Graduates, our journey is not over. You and I both know, this is just another step to greater things yet to come. Some of you will continue your education for many years, mastering the knowledge in your field as you work to stay on the cutting edge. Some of you will start the next Fortune 500 company or invent the next greatest thing we must all possess. Some of you will travel great distances and influence the future of our world, or, you may choose to shape the future of our world starting in our very own community. Whatever you chose to do, know that, as you were destined to do this great thing, so will you do greater things still! Finally, let me close with a quote former President Ronald Reagan:
“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.”
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