Where am I?

Graduate Student Speech

The following was given by Katie Dunahoo, M.A., at the 2013 Fontbonne University graduate commencement ceremony.

Good Morning, President Golden, trustees and regents, faculty and staff, Ms Kerri Morgan, my fellow graduates and future colleagues, and to all of the family and friends who have come to experience this special day with us.  I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you all in completing your graduate degrees. This has been no small task. As I stand before you I am reminded of my own experiences that have brought me to this point. I am sure that many of you are sitting and thinking about your own paths that have brought you here as well. I have been with Fontbonne University for a while now. In 2008 I began my journey here as an undergrad student, in 2010, I completed my undergraduate degree in elementary education with certification, and today I will be celebrating the completion of my Masters of Arts in Diverse Learning with all of you. When I think of my time at Fontbonne three words come to mind. These words are humble, proud, and hopeful.

First, I feel humbled to be in the presence of so many hard-working and caring individuals. These are the people who have devoted so much of their own time and energy to contribute not just to their own well-being but to the well being of those around them. By taking this time to improve your own life you have inherently improved many others. As I look back on my life I know how many people I have come into contact with throughout this process who have helped me along the way.

Secondly, I am proud. Proud not only because of what I have accomplished, but what all of you in front of me have accomplished. It is not an easy task to do what you all of done and you should be very proud of yourselves.  I am sure that our families and the faculty here with us are proud as well.
In addition, I am hopeful. I am hopeful to see what the future will bring for all of us. We are all going to do such wonderful things in our lives from this point forward.  Being that I am in education I one of my hopes is that I can positively influence one person’s life for the better. As you sit here today think of what hopes may be coming for you.

In closing, at the Leadership Awards Banquet early this April the theme was “Purple and Gold.” Near the closing of the banquet President Golden gave a wonderful speech on what purple and gold meant to him. Well, that gave me the inspiration to see what purple and gold meant to me.  I took the opportunity to research the color purple which as is turns out is the color of royalty and with that comes pride. Royalty would show great pride of being able to wear the color purple. Gold is considered a precious metal that lasts forever.

After reflection and reviewing my research on these two colors I have decided what purple and gold means to me. Purple shows pride, I can now leave today and go out into the world being proud of my accomplishments here at Fontbonne. Gold for me means forever, the knowledge and experiences that I have gained here will be with me forever. I would like you to take this opportunity to think of what purple and gold mean to you and how Fontbonne has enabled you to be here today. Tomorrow will be another day filled with adventures and new discoveries for all of us. Today is for all of you to celebrate with your friends and families for all the hard work you have accomplished. I want to say a special Thank You to my family for being with me throughout this process. This degree is as much yours as it is mine. I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors. Congratulations class of 2013. Thank You.