Four years never seemed like they would fly by this quickly. A mysterious unknown with endless possibilities suddenly lies ahead. Before we make that transition, I have a few messages I would like to deliver.
My first is one of utmost appreciation and gratitude to the significant support system that the graduating class has received throughout our time at Wake Forest. We would not be capable to lead in the real world without guidance and support from all of you. Professors, administrators, families, staff and friends — you have given us more than we ever could have asked for and lifted us up to previously unimaginable heights. From open arms to celebrate leadership and professional opportunities to a shoulder to cry on when we encounter quite the opposite, your endless dedication to our well-being and happiness is profoundly moving. We are utterly indebted to you and your service to the university and a further extent, our lives.
The second message I would like to deliver is addressed to the graduating class of seniors. Let’s sit back for a second and fully contemplate how much incredible change we’ve witnessed during our time at Mother So Dear. The openings of Farrell Hall, the New Pit and dorms, Maya Angelou Hall, and Wake Downtown have embodied the exponential rate of Wake Forest’s development in these short four years. We’ve seen Wake Forest consistently ranked as a top 30 school in the nation and bring home the first bowl game title since 2008. As a class, we have matured by engaging with difficult academic and social topics with which many of us had no experience before stepping on to these grounds. I want each of you to think back and envision the naïve and wide-eyed first year you used to be before this incredibly rewarding change, understanding that it would not have been possible without this extraordinary community.
However, we could be better. My final message is directed at the university’s administrative community. Throughout the course of our work this year, I have learned many leadership techniques that will benefit me for the rest of my life. In retrospect, I must advise you to consider a very important caveat to your student-focused work. We are a dynamic student body that contains a multitude of personalities, priorities and preferences. Please realize that one student on a committee (including the SG President or Student Trustee) does not constitute the inclusion of all student voices in a decision that will impact their lives. The phrase “students were consulted in this decision” carries minimal weight when these students are pulled from an exclusive bank of less than 50 individuals. I challenge you to reach beyond those you find reliably involved to incorporate voices that are not in positions of leadership. As student leaders, we too are constantly refining the way we engage with the student body to ensure holistic representation. All students are equally valuable and important when understanding the fluidity of our passionate undergraduate student body. Wake Forest is a phenomenally unique and beautiful community, but this infectious lack of widespread consultation must be cured.
To the faculty, staff and employees of the university, you have been utterly instrumental in our development and self-realization throughout our time on campus. To the administration, thank you for your intentional cooperation with Student Government and commitment to our university. Finally, to the class of 2017, I am so incredibly excited to see the endless ways in which each of us excel and triumph as we discover our path through this world. Best of luck to all of you and GO DEACS!
Student Government President