May 19, 2019

Natalie Madray – 2019 Commencement Speech

Good morning distinguished guests, faculty, families, friends and of course the graduating class of 2019! I am truly humbled and honored to be the graduate commencement speaker here today.

As President of the Graduate Student Council, I want to start by thanking all of you who have come out to show your support of our students. We would not be here to celebrate this momentous occasion without your unfaltering care and understanding.

Many graduate students set high expectations of what their Graduate experience will be. “I will complete my assignments ahead of time. I will read each and every chapter, including the additional readings.

I will highlight, take notes and review every single night.” For many, these hopes were a bit too ambitious.

For those of you who have forgotten, or may be unaware of what graduate school is like, allow me to reacquaint you. Picture being an adult, with a family, bills, a dog, and a job. Picture life happening, along with the good and the bad, and then running low on time to accomplish everything you set
out to do.

Imagine getting to the point of being okay with paying five dollars for one cup of coffee, that you are entirely entrusting to keep you up all night and focused enough to write a twenty-page paper with multiple citations,  from at least a dozen sources, in size 12 font, and all in Times New Roman.

Yes, life happens, and things do not always go according to plan, as you will quickly learn from talking to any graduate student.

As a graduate student, you learn to be a professional figurative juggler of not just one, not two, but three or more roles! You learn to do the impossible in the given time you have.

First and foremost, you are the pillars that your families lean and build on.

You give them, and they give you support and love that enables you to power through and focus on moving forward every day, no matter how dire the consequence.

Secondly, you are working people, that must honor this commitment each day, to continue to progress in your academic endeavors.

Lastly, you are Graduate Students. You desired, despite having such immense responsibilities, to come back to school and commit to bettering yourselves. It was stressful at times and maybe even scary. Yet you persevered through the learning curve of being back in school, you foraged on and caught up on the latest technology and research, you sought out internships, you befriended professors, you learned from your mistakes, and you succeed in places you never expected to.

Adelphi University was that home away from home, you chose for yourself, that allowed you to learn what you are truly made of. This university helped you build your strength and confidence to go further, and not be limited by fear of failure.

You worked many hours and long nights to earn your right to sit here today. Class of 2019 we made it! You owe to yourself to live in this moment and be proud of yourself.

Reflect on your experiences during these past few years in the times to come to give you the courage to know that you are capable of so much more.  The best is yet to come!

Thank you again, for allowing me this opportunity.

Go Panthers!

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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 more than 8,100 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 115,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.