SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AT UNIVERSITY OF
MARYLAND COMMENCEMENT SPEECH DECEMBER
Lindsay Morris, Undergraduate Speaker
speaker Lindsay Morris waits in
the media room at Comcast Center
with Associate Dean for
Undergraduate Studies Pat
Cleveland before the ceremony.
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
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
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
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.
Lindsay Morris' speech.
The commencement will be available on
DVD from Kitay Productions.