University of Vermont

Academic Ceremonies - Commencement

Greeting - Raleigh - Class Council President

Daron Raleigh
2010 Class Council President

Daron Raleigh

First off I would like to say congratulations to all of you on graduating. This is a huge milestone for us, and it is an honor to speak to you today.

It was not that long ago that we first arrived at the University of Vermont. For me, it seems like yesterday that I sat at orientation and first-year weekend listening to older students and resident advisors tell me how amazing the next four or five years were going to be. I can remember sitting in an auditorium on Trinity Campus being handed my 2010 graduation tassel and being told to give this school all that I had. “Leave this school better than you found it.”

Well, we took the plunge. We have all had experiences here at UVM that will stay with us forever. Each one of us is a different person than the day we came here. This change in us might not be dramatic but it is real. From the good experiences to the bad experiences, we changed our outlooks and found our identities somewhere in between. And I’d like to think that we’re not only different but better.

Better because of sports, plays at Royall Tyler Theatre, the Student Government Association, social justice seminars, the construction of the Davis Center, art exhibits, the Red Sox second world series win, and the first African-American President of the United States. Mostly though, we are better because of our education.

Tom Brokaw once said during a commencement address, “You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as your ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.” We are the lucky ones. It is a small percentage of the world that attends school on a regular basis, and it is truly only a dream for some people. If we have all lived up to our promise, we have at least attempted to leave this school better than when we arrived here. I am going to leave this podium today asking just one more thing of you: do your best to use your education and leave this world better than you found it.

Thank you and good luck.

Last modified June 20 2010 09:28 AM

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