SMITH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AT UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND COMMENCEMENT SPEECH DECEMBER 2005
Lindsay Morris, Undergraduate Speaker
Faculty, parents and friends, I am so honored to be standing before you tonight and I am so proud to be joining the ranks of my parents and grandparents as a University of Maryland graduate. On behalf of the graduating class I would like to thank everyone who has helped, in even the smallest way, to make it possible for us to achieve our dreams.
Fellow graduates, our time here at Maryland has been full of wonderful experiences, and devastating tragedies. Great uncertainty has followed life-altering events like 9-11 and hurricane Katrina. The world has changed before our eyes as we have entered into a war on terror, and watched our nation stand strong against unimaginable and sometimes unidentifiable foes.
Our environment continues to change around us, but I think that we can all agree that the future as a whole before us looks bright, full of exciting opportunities and new experiences. We all have plans however vague those plans may be and we are all one step closer on our way to achieving our dreams. It is uncertainty that prohibits preparedness. It is the unexpected for which there can be no master plan, and no control that sparks fear and anxiety. And more often than not, there is no warning system to let you know clearly and unambiguously what is coming.
Life is full of opportunities and threats. As students at the Robert H. Smith School of business, we have completed more SWOT analyses on various businesses than we can count. What we need to do is perform a SWOT analysis on ourselves and our lives. What are our strengths and weaknesses and what opportunities and threats exist in our lives? Most importantly, how will we recognize them?
Take a minute, and close your eyes. Remember a time when an opportunity came and went, unbeknownst to you until it was too late. Dont you wish that there had been an orchestra playing in the background, slowly increasing its tempo and reaching a crescendo to let you know that something amazing was on the horizon?
On a lighter note, don't you wish that the theme from Jaws would softly begin playing when that guy and all the ladies here know the one I'm talking about spots you from across Bentleys and starts walking your way with a goofy pick-up line on the tip of his tongue?
Life definitely needs background music. How nice would it be to have soft melodies enhancing tranquil moments you wish would last forever, and cymbals crashing and horns blowing when situations put you in peril? Maybe even the Maryland Fight Song playing as you leave the boardroom following your first big promotion.
Fortunately for us, the University of Maryland has given us background music. No, the Mighty Sound of Maryland is not going to follow us as we enter into the workforce or pursue graduate degrees. But like background music, our time here at Maryland has enabled us to identify life's opportunities, and hopefully recognize its threats.
As we leave Maryland we can feel confident that we have background music in our lives in the form of a solid education that will alert us to the uncertainties in life both good and bad. The faculty at Maryland has led us this far, but we must become our own conductors at this point. So move forward, waving the baton and conducting your life as you choose. But listen carefully so that you can hear the music in the background.
The commencement will be available on DVD from Kitay Productions.
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