University of Vermont

Academic Ceremonies - Convocation

Convocation 2013 Opening Welcome

Connor Daley, Class of 2014, President of the Student Government Association   

Connor DaleyHello Class of 2017!

Hey, who do we have here?

Redstone Campus - let me hear you say U!
Athletic Campus - let me hear you say V!
Central Campus - let me hear you say M!
Trinity Campus - what does that spell?

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome. My name is Connor Daley and I serve as the student body president. To those of you who join us from other states or nations, welcome to Vermont. To those who come from Vermont, welcome to Burlington, and to those who come from Burlington… welcome to the top of the hill. But to everyone, welcome to a sweltering hot gym.

When I was asked to speak at Convocation, I knew I wanted to do two things: 1) tell you all the one thing that I would have liked to hear three years ago, when I was sitting in the same seats as you; 2) and make the sign-language interpreter laugh at least once.

I’m a senior, a history major with a focus on Britain, and I love cross-country skiing, my golden retriever Oakley, and Emma Watson. I think I only know a handful of you – either from my own high school or from passing conversations this weekend. But let me tell you about who you are as a Class. Sitting here today you represent close to a hundred majors, 41 states, and a range of countries from Canada to Vietnam, from the Netherlands to India.

You’re going to hear a lot about “getting involved,” and “cherishing your moments” here at UVM, because it’s a great place to find those moments. For me, those moments have happened a lot now. At the end of my first-year, just four semesters away from where you are now, I went to get a coffee at the Cyber Café, the little place in the library. There’s a woman who works there who just yells all the time. Her name is Bev. And she was so friendly and fun that I started going all the time. We talked and we became friends, and when she found out my favourite movies were James Bonds films, my mocha turned into a “shaken, not stirred.” She’s famous on campus for yelling “Have a good day!” and I try to see her every day to ensure that I do have a good day.

After that summer, my friends and I were talking one day in the floor kitchen about our future, and this girl and I started agreeing on all of these different things, especially that our kids would only ever watch PBS until they’re teenagers. She quickly became my best friend, and probably knows me better than I do. Her name is Sarah.

We I think are conditioned to believe that our lives revolve around these great big moments, when in reality great moments often catch us off-guard when we’re just getting a coffee or joking about Sesame Street. UVM is a place where an amazing amount of those moments can be found with faculty, with staff, and with each other. UVM isn’t about getting a degree, a certificate or an assurance of a better wage. It’s about following a passion and a desire to make the world a better place. That’s what I want to do. And that’s what Bev and Sarah help me to do. Just make sure to take in those moments when they happen. Be sure to make those moments. And you’ll have a great day.

Class of 2017, welcome.

Last modified September 13 2013 02:34 PM

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