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Becoming Our Best Selves

Honors Speakers Inspire at Graduation Exercises

With the arrival of Spring term on campus, trees are back in full foliage, sidewalks are less crowded, and parking lots have vacant spaces! It’s also very quiet here in the Maeser building as our Honors staff are busy preparing for the next academic year. In the stillness, the words of our most recent graduates echo as reminders of the important role the Honors Program plays in the lives of our undergraduate students. During recent graduation events, outstanding University Honors graduates inspired us to look ahead, fully engaged in the process of becoming our best selves.

At University Commencement, Macy West (Philosophy) represented the graduating class of 2024 as the student speaker. Her address, “Narrating our Lives,” prompted listeners to reflect in two directions, looking back at the past and contemplating the future. Macy noted, “The way we narrate the stories of our lives is tremendously important because those stories determine not only how we perceive the past, but because they also shape our futures…. As our own narrators, we seem to have a special sort of “predictive ability” in shaping our futures.” Read Macy’s full address here.

At Honors Graduation, Emma Fox (English) spoke to her fellow Honors graduates, friends and families gathered at the Hinckley Center. She shed additional light on what Greek philosopher Heraclitus called the “secret process of becoming.” Emma said she believes that “challenge to become” is what each graduate embraced throughout their Honors experience and focused on three key elements of becoming: work, wandering and waiting. Read Emma’s full address here.

Also at Honors Graduation, Hunter Lindsay (Molecular Biology) spoke about planting gardens. His experience planting a family garden instilled virtues of hard work, determination, responsibility, and patience – working in the present for future rewards. He noted, “It was never about planting a garden. It was about who we became as we planted it.” Hunter encouraged his fellow graduates to make a difference in the world and be a force for good, adding “It was never about our accomplishments. It is about who we are and who we become as we accomplish them.” Read Hunter’s full address here.

Together with their fellow Honors graduates, these Honors disciple-scholars truly exemplify the mission of the Honors Program as they now go forth to serve as broad thinkers, creative problem solvers, and influential leaders in a world that needs their faithful examples more than ever.