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May 21, 2017

Georgia Linaris 2017 Commencement Speech

Good morning, President Riordan, trustees, faculty, administration, distinguished guests, family and friends, and, of course, my fellow students of Adelphi University’s class of 2017. It is an honor to stand here before you and address you in the last few moments of our Adelphi careers.

Going to college is like discovering a treasure map: enticing, appealing, charming, even if it can be a bit risky. The treasure at the end of the map is different for everyone. Maybe the treasure is simply that piece of parchment that you will proudly display on your wall, for others it may be the chance to instill a thirst for learning in students through teaching, perhaps it is creating the next feature film, or caring for patients. Maybe the path to that treasure is filled with trials and winding roads, but doesn’t that make it all that much more alluring? Each of us here in the class of 2017, rather than cast away our maps so as not to be tempted, sought after that treasure at Adelphi University, and how lucky were we to do so. Today at commencement, we finally reach that mysterious “X” that marked the spot.

Reflecting on our time here at Adelphi, we can say that we not only took an integral step toward obtaining a career in our desired fields, but we expanded our knowledge by exploring, embracing, and challenging different philosophies presented to us. We had the opportunity to create relationships with professors, administrators, alumni, and faculty members who served as our mentors. We discovered new found interests through the clubs and organizations we became involved with, all while forming lifelong friendships along the way.

Although our hunt for treasure was filled with moments of triumph, enlightenment, and joy, there were also moments that posed challenges to us. Those moments shaped us and taught us the greatest lessons.

I urge you all to never let any obstacle stand in the way of you accomplishing your goals. Remember that you have found the will and strength in yourself to get to this moment, therefore you have the tools to get where you need to go.

Don’t let the end of your undergraduate studies be the end of your learning. Our Graduate Students serve as a great example of this, however furthering your learning may not mean going on to grad school. It may mean traveling abroad or working in your field of interest. One does not simply learn from a textbook; we learn from experiencing, questioning, and leaving the safety of our comfort zones.

Commit yourself to doing what inspires you; for this will inspire others to do the same. While at Adelphi, I found that my treasure map helped me to discover a new found passion that I plan to pursue upon graduation. Throughout my undergraduate career, I got involved on campus and held several leadership positions, however it was my involvement in the Commuter Assistant Program that validated my passion for Higher Education Administration. In my other roles, I was the focus, seeking guidance and support from others to accomplish my goals. As a Commuter Assistant, I served as the support system to my students. They turned to me as a knowledgeable resource and I was able to assist them and watch them succeed. For me, there is no greater feeling than knowing that I can positively impact others.

So, here we are, each at the end of our own journey. What did we find? Perhaps some of us found a magnificent treasure. For some of us, perhaps, there was another map with a new treasure to chase after. Our own unique treasure is out there and it is up to us to discover it.

Congratulations Class of 2017! I wish you all endless success, love, learning, health, and happiness in the future. Thank you!

At this time, I would like to express my gratitude to the Senior Class Vice President, Victoria Khaimova, for her unwavering support, hard work, and dedication to representing our class. I invite you to join me at the lectern. Additionally, I ask that the members of the senior class committee, Kendell Mason-Francis, Bonnie Ippolito, Ece Ozaman, Nidhi Duggal, Ana Cueter, Maya Faison, and Hugo Salazar stand for a moment of recognition, for, without them, none of our senior events leading up to commencement would have been possible.

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About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

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Todd Wilson
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