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Every college senior class experiences a time of rejoice, reminiscence, and repose. It is a time when change is imminent, and every graduate prepares to walk through the tunnel into that big stadium that is life. Commencement speeches are usually an attempt to wrap up all the feelings that a collegiate senior is experiencing.

As a graduating member of the 2007 class at Cazenovia College, I was selected to give a speech to the class of 07' at the Awards Banquet. After reviewing and reading many commencement and awards speeches given to graduates by students, faculty and celebrities across the nation, I found many of them to be cliche' and monotonous in their meaning and personalization to the graduates. Although they were rich in humor and inspiration, I felt that most missed the true opportunity to get across a message that is often overlooked. That message was the importance and rarity of a college graduate.

In preparing my speech, I wanted to stay true to that message. I wanted to make it something that all Cazenovia College graduates can relate to. And most of all, I wanted it to be genuine and from my heart. With that said, here is the text of the speech:
Good evening President Tierno, Members of the Board of trustees, Professors, fellow graduates, parents, family and friends. 

I would like for you to imagine this…

Imagine if you could shrink the Earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people with all existing human ratios remaining the same.

It would look something like this:
  • There would be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 people from the Western Hemisphere - both North and South - and eight Africans
  • 70 would be nonwhite; 30 would be white
  • 70 would be non-Christian; 30 would be Christian
  • 50 percent of the entire world's wealth would be in the hands of only six people. All six would be citizens of the United States
  • 70 would be unable to read
  • 50 would suffer from malnutrition
  • 80 would live in substandard housing
  • And only ONE - just one - would have a college education.
Four years ago, all of us embarked on a journey to pursue a challenge that would benefit us forever. We entered Cazenovia College young, innocent, and full of potential. At the time, college was a new beginning, and what lied ahead of us was exciting. The opportunity to learn new things, meet new people, and most importantly, experience life on our own, are all things we looked forward too. The future seemed so far away, and forever was not even thought of. 

On Saturday, we will receive our Cazenovia College degrees. We’ve all met, survived and overcame the challenge that was presented before us four years ago. It hasn’t been easy over the past four years. It hasn’t been easy getting to this day. Through hard work, dedication and sacrifice, we are all able to stand here and receive something very distinguished and prestigious in a college education. In a world of 100, you are the only one. Don’t ever take that for granted. What we have done is indeed remarkable.You’ve been blessed. You’ve been blessed with the chance to chase a dream. 

You’ve been blessed with an opportunity over the last four years to attend an institution that has meant something different to us all forever.
  • All-nighters writing papers
  • 8am classes
  • Battle of the Air Bands
  • Basketball Games
  • Wildcat Weekend
  • Betty
  • Saturday Nights
  • Double-Headers down at Vets Field
  • Wednesday Night at the Alleys
  • Senior Capstone
Reminiscing on our times here at Cazenovia College, we are also reminded by friends that have become family, whose faces mirror how much we have grown and changed as people over the last four years. The things we’ve learned in those classrooms, the people that have become a huge part of our lives, and the times that we all shared, are memories we should cherish. I want you to take those memories with you forever. Take your dreams with you forever. Because forever, is about to happen in just a few days.
As we move forward, use the tools and experiences that you have earned here to meet the new challenges ahead of you. The challenge of the past and the ability to accomplish something so very few do is an example of how powerful and influential you can be. Go forward and chase your dreams.

As you enter forever, I hope these memories and dreams here at Cazenovia College take the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your oppurtunities, and to the most special place your heart has ever known.

Forever, awaits you.
Congratulations and good luck, Class of 2007!

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