Most university graduates would agree that a lot of changes occur during their four years in school. The college experience helps students grow and learn and become adults ready to make their mark on the world.
Students at graduation were excited about their next chapter but reflected on their time at Newman and the ways in which it prepared them to transform society.
Graduate Annie Dang gave a formal reflection at the Baccalaureate Mass on May 10. After the commencement ceremony concluded May 11, she was feeling just as thankful for the opportunities she found for herself at Newman.
“I came in thinking that I would be doing the same things I did in high school, just kind of doing my own thing and being quiet. When I got here, I decided that I didn’t want it to be like that anymore so I signed up for all these events. I was an orientation leader, I was an ambassador and that just helped me really foster relationships. I’ve become a better person.”
Dang is most thankful for the relationships she made while on campus.
“These last four years I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of people,” she said. “I’ve worked in a lot of departments and I’ve just been able to blossom even though I have had hardships. I feel like I’ve been able to find a lot of joy because of the friendships that I’ve made and the relationships that I’ve built with all the professors on campus and the people that I’ve met. The reflection is the accumulation of all that and a big thank you to everyone who’s helped me become the person who I am today.”
Alexis Reed, a School of Education graduate, said her biggest takeaway will be how service has become integrated in her life.
“The things I’m going to remember always is going to be service because that has become a lifestyle for me through Newman University.”
Reed also reflected on the relationships she was able to make with professors, students and the Newman community during her four years.
On graduation day she said, “It just felt like a culmination of all my struggles, all my successes, it’s like everything just paid off today. So it definitely was a great experience to be able to see the fruits of my labor pay off.”
Nursing graduate Kyndal Dutton attended Newman due to the reputation of the nursing program and said her decision also paid off.
“The nursing program has always had a reputation of being very difficult and challenging, which I can attest it was, but coming out of the program after two years, I feel like I’m ready. They prepared us very well,” she said.
Though student-athletes find balancing their sports and courses a difficult task, Yemima Buana found it to be a helpful skill to obtain.
“I played (volleyball) all four years and playing on the team really taught me how to manage time because Newman’s classes are not easy,” Buana said. “And we traveled every single week during the season. I had to make sure I was doing good in the classes and on the court. And also, I felt like I just learned how to work with others really well because we’re all different girls and we came from different walks of life.”
Buana plans to move to England in the fall and pursue her master’s degree in international marketing and cross-cultural communication while playing volleyball.
More than 480 students walked across the stage on Saturday, each leaving with their own unique college story.