Student speaker Kuchta recalls father’s words

olyvia kuchta class speaker

Psychology grad Olyvia Kuchta spoke on behalf of her graduating class at UW-Green Bay commencement on May 16 at the Kress Events Center.

She shared her personal story of not being certain she would attend college until she reflected back on one of her final conversations with her father, who died when she was 16.

“It was late in the afternoon and we were driving in the car together. We had never really talked much about college or ideas I had for my future until this moment. He asked me what I wanted to do after I graduated high school and while we discussed it, he told me that no matter what I did, I had to work hard. He told me that he was proud of me, and knew I would do well. I believe that a large reason why I work so hard is to make him proud.”

Kuchta referenced a number of UW-Green Bay professors she considered influential in her college career.

“I was recognized in classes by professors, specifically by Professor Christopher Martin who recognized me as the girl who never put her hand down in Philosophy, Dr. Ryan Martin who invited me to work under his supervision on an internship and honors project, and Dr. Illene Cupit, who allowed me to work consecutively for two years on research with her. I truly found my niche in the Psychology Department and would not be the person that I am today without their guidance and unconditional support.”

She closed her remarks by telling her fellow graduates that the value of education goes far beyond the diploma, or career.

“It is about approaching each situation with curiosity, seeing each problem from multiple perspectives, and finding the sun wherever you go,” Kuchta said.