Commencement

‘The struggle is real’ – Rodney Moss, Whidbey Island student speaker

May 09, 2016 by Cindy O'Dell

When she introduced Whidbey Island student speaker Rodney Moss, campus Director Barbra Bockman said, “This year our student speaker is Rodney Moss an organizational leadership graduate student.  I was introduced to Rodney at the Navy League Sailor of the Year awards by a Chapman University Alumni in the fall of 2014. 

“I gave him my normal pitch about how he needed to get a master’s degree at Brandman, and he said he would come over and see me.  And as you can see, he came to the office and started his degree the next session, and here we are today.  His enthusiasm has been so exciting as he completed each class.   It is my pleasure to introduce Rodney Moss.”

Speech transcript:

(Applause)

Class of 2016 . How are you doing? I want to talk to you real briefly about an hour and half about (laughter). This is going to be real quick. I want to talk to you about the struggle is real.

OK, let’s break it down here in common vernacular.

We’ve had such elegant speeches.  Dr. Hand.

Thank you very much and I appreciate you.

Everyone’s here and definitely appreciates being here because we could not be here without our faculty, our teachers.

So give it up to them one more time.

For those sitting in the audience today,  these first three rows are full of very very important people.

These are the greatest people on the planet today … some in their own minds and others in the mind of people who love and care about them.

But I’m going to not going to focus on the first three  rows. I’m focusing on everyone  behind them.  Because the struggle is real.

Let’s talk about all of these late  nights,  drinking a thousand cups of coffee and  trying to meet that : deadline (laughter)  because midnight was fast approaching on  Sunday night for a paper we knew was due a week ago.  So that has happened.  Now I’m talking about me but I know I wasn’t the only one who did that. No, I know you all did that so  you button pushers please  raise your  hands. Alright.

So, the struggle is real. Now I’ll get to the next part of that. All of us going through our associates, our bachelor’s, our master’s degree and our doctoral degree have had  to make tremendous sacrifices.

Those sacrifices fell on the backs of those people beyond the third row.

Those are the sacrifices where we wanted to go to that cook-out but we just couldn’t pull away because we waited until

We wanted to go to that birthday party but we, admit it, :. All the other excuses for why we couldn’t get done what we needed to do. So we appreciate those leaders, the family members, our sons, our daughters, our brothers or our cousins, our spouses that helped support us. Because they left without us and went to the BBQ.

So as we were doing those things. Because we procrastinated. We ultimately got to where we are today. So to focus in on the family, we look at thousands of papers written, more than one million searches on the Internet for leadership, human resources and all the other things asked for.

We look at all the other things that come along the way as we progress but today stand proudly before you as graduates because of the support you gave us.

Those times you made that extra cup of coffee for us. When we fell asleep you tapped us on the shoulder and said wakeup you need to get it there before

So. We thank you for that. We thank you also for the fact that you did not turn your back on us.

Now if you have never been in any kind of degree program, this is your day. Learn from us.

No one sitting in the first three rows were given anything. They worked hard, they were told that you can do better. When they did better, they were even told, hey you can do better than this.

So they worked hard but because you in the rows beyond the third row made it possible.

We talk about three different things. Character, integrity and leadership. All of those are basic fundamentals that we all have and it takes those things to be able to strive toward getting your degree.

I will tell you being a God-fearing man without God I would not have made it. Because there was some times I was ready to quit.

So we moved forward on that but with the support of the family and the staff and the faculty saying you can do it. It made it possible.

So we take into account. Putting the family back into perspective. For those earning the associates degree, it’s time to get ready. Because you’re not going to take a break, it is time to move forward with a bachelor’s. For those with a bachelor’s degree, it is time to move forward. So take that break.

Now I’m going to just quote a few words from Dr. Karen Marie Erickson who was my doctor online for the capstone. She said was saying that you need to take 12 little victories. And hopefully, she’s watching right now. Twelve little victories over each year for each month that led to the year of you getting where you to where are today.

Take your family out and celebrate. Because over that course of the 14 or 16 months or even longer, you have missed key opportunities.

You have missed those things you can’t get back.

But you can’t reflect on the past because that stifles you. You can’t look for tomorrow because tomorrow has yet to come. You only have to focus on today and you celebrate the people that you have in your life today. So when we leave here, Class of 2016, celebrate the moment, celebrate today, celebrate what you have accomplished. But also look for the future because each and every one of you have set an example for someone else walking. Thank you very much, Class of ’16.

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