Over the past five years I have had the absolute privilege and honor to meet, be inspired, and work with some of the most hard working, altruistic, individuals. After five years of college, studying and applying my knowledge of politics, analysis, philosophy, law, policy, public administration and management, and economics I can fully attest to the intellect and dedication of every single student and alumni of the College of Charleston. No words can describe my deepest appreciation of the entire community’s acceptance, compassion for others, and the sense of friendship that I have received from students, professors, and administrators.
Six days from now, I will walk at the Spring 2017 Commencement ceremony. I remember the very first day I was at the College. It was a cold day in January 2015 where I went through orientation and stood in the Cistern Yard for President McConnell’s spring convocation address. Walking into the cistern yard, I remember walking through the arches of Porter’s Lodge and under the words “know thyself” written in Greek. Almost everyday I walked under the arch to remind myself of its meaning; that regardless of the hardest of situations, always remain true to who you are. On Saturday I walk out of the Cistern Yard one final time, but I do not receive my Bachelor’s degree until the summer. However, I shall never forget the experiences and the friends that I have made at the College of Charleston nor the incredible work they are and will be doing. I am incredibly proud of all my colleagues and cannot wait to see where their work takes me. On Saturday, we will walk under the gate way in Cougar Mall, which has a phrase in Latin and translates into “Perhaps it will give us pleasure to remember these things someday,” and walk out of the Cistern Yard one final time. Yet the most important lesson that we can take from the day is remembering who we are presently and remaining true to ourselves throughout or careers and lives.
Although I have not been at the College as long as others, I have had the most incredible experiences and time with all of you. From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank all of you for inspiring me to follow my passions for creating a better, safer, equal, and equitable world for everyone through pragmatic policy and politics.
So to the students, alumni, professors, and administrators of the College of Charleston, you all have been my inspiration and a critical piece of shaping my principles.