In case you missed it in person, check out the video recording of the Fall 2019 SJSU Lurie College of Education Commencement Ceremony and of the Lurie College Student Commencement Speaker, Megan Nebesnick – MA, Education, Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction with Multiple Subject Credential – below! You can also read her remarks below.
Good evening Spartans,
My name is Megan Nebesnick and as a current graduate of the Teacher Education Department and former graduate of the Humanities Department, I am honored to have been chosen as your speaker of our Fall 2019 commencement ceremony to represent and speak on behalf of both departments. I would like to begin by congratulating each and every one of us for the dedication and commitment to academics that have led us here tonight. Through our experiences here at San Jose State, we have created stronger and better versions of ourselves. It’s safe to say that this journey has not been easy. We have encountered many sleepless nights, tears, and stress. We have all dedicated a significant amount of time and concern toward one exam or project that would bring us one small but significant step closer to the finish line. Nonetheless, it has prepared us for what is to come.
I am proud to have earned a graduate degree from an institution that places value on the strength of diversity. We have many different majors, variegated degrees, and infinite possible career paths, yet despite our individuality, San Jose State has accounted for us all, providing us with the tools to open our minds to creativity and perspective- all of which we will take with us as we begin our promising careers. For some of us, we may have dreamt of this achievement since we were children. For others, the thought of graduating college was just that- a thought. When I look around at all of my peers, I see difference. I see diversity. In that, I see strength- strength to use the skills and knowledge we so vigorously developed from San Jose State to contribute value to our communities in numerous ways. For many graduates here tonight, including myself, it will be in the form of educating future generations through teaching.
Regardless of the directions in which we are headed, we now have the ability and privilege of impacting and shaping young minds. We are all assets. Just as our professors have had a significant influence on us, we will have various opportunities to have the same impact on generations to come, and for my fellow teachers, our future students specifically. Consequently, it is our responsibility to leave a positive mark on those we impact by being role models and encouraging each of them to be their best selves just as we have learned to do here. Each of us is leaving here today with a valuable set of skills we will rely on in our fields. It is imperative that we use our experiences here at San Jose State University to take initiative in every way we possibly can.
In moments of struggle, we have constantly reminded ourselves of our end goal which is this very moment. We each had personal factors that motivated us to cross the finish line. Much of our motivation arose not only from the desire to make our parents proud or the aspiration to be a role model for our siblings or our own children, but also those who look up to us for guidance without our knowledge. Tonight, receiving our degrees represents more than just the education that we have acquired here at San Jose State. As we all walk across this stage, we have so much of which to be proud. This is our celebration of the various sacrifices we made- the time we spent sitting in traffic, the late night classes we struggled through just to wake up early for work the next morning, the late nights spent studying in the library instead of enjoying time at home with our families, and for some, our children included. But we did not do this alone. This is also a celebration of sacrifices others have made alongside us. To our parents, guardians and loved ones, your sacrifices have not gone unnoticed. Many parents have gone above and beyond to afford us the opportunity to celebrate this moment. These sacrifices include but are not limited to working multiple jobs to help us afford tuition, books, transportation and living costs, working unruly hours, and even missing holidays for overtime pay. Tonight, we are comforted with the fact that we bring pride to our institution, our families, and ourselves.
Throughout our experiences here, we have created friendships and memories. We have established relationships with remarkable people with whom we may lose touch, but will always remain a solid piece of our education. We did it, and now it’s time to go out there, spread our knowledge, apply our skills, and influence future generations. We are no longer just Spartans. We are now, and always will be, Spartan graduates. Thank you.