The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Marinette Campus held its annual commencement ceremony on Monday, May 20, 2019 in the Herbert L. Williams Theatre. Fifty-six students earned two-year degrees from the Marinette Campus during the 2018-19 academic year. Two international students received completion certificates from Youth for Understanding, a non-profit educational organization serving more than 50 countries.
An alumnus of both the Marinette and Green Bay campuses, Romy Blystone, self-employed leadership consultant and mentor, delivered the commencement address. You can read it, here.
Meghan Finger, a 2018 graduate of Peshtigo High School, has been selected to represent the Marinette Campus class of 2019 as its student speaker. Here is an excerpt from her speech:
“What we have learned here we will take with us as we go on to pursue our goals. For many of us this is the first step towards our dreams. The first step towards finding what we love to do and making a life for ourselves. Henry David Thoreau once said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” And we are. As members of the 2019 class, we shall strive to succeed in everything we do. To become whatever, it is we set our minds to. There will be obstacles ahead, but with hard work and determination we can do it!
“…I would like to congratulate every member of this year’s class. We have all put in the work that allows us to receive this degree. You should be proud of yourselves. This is a major accomplishment. Remember that you are in charge of what happens in the future, stay focused and be prepared. But also enjoy life, we are given this life to make the most out of it, to be the best version of ourselves. Go out into the world with confidence that you will succeed. Albert Einstein once said, “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.” I agree, take what you have learned here and use it to take the next step.”
Chau Pham, from Vietnam, was the international student speaker. The following is an excerpt from her speech:
“When I came here, I didn’t know anyone but my friend Minh. We were the only two Vietnamese girls in our first year here. In the beginning, we went through a little culture shock … all I thought of was ‘wow, I’m in college, for the first time in my life, I have more freedom from my parents. the people here were so warm and welcoming, and the weather had been nice so far.’ I obviously had no idea what winter is like in Wisconsin until I really experienced it. I was confident, however, that my two years here is gonna be great. I was so ready to begin my college experience, make new friends and explore a new country.
It’s been beyond great and It’s been amazing, but also, it’s been rough,and it’s been long though I know I just said it felt like yesterday and there were times when I just wanna go home. But it’s a life-changing experience for me. And looking back, studying abroad is one of the best things that has happened in my life. I’ve gained so much knowledge and skills in the past two years. I got a chance to step out of comfort zone, by getting involved in the campus activities, by challenging myself to take difficult classes, and speaking up in discussions, creating art with my friends. etc. I learn to care more about the people around me, I discuss world issues and various topics with my professors even outside of class, What we learn was so much beyond the textbook, and it enables me to explore different possibilities and shapes me to become a better person, I’m so thankful for the wonderful experience at Marinette, and I realize I was able to make such changes , thanks to the individuals here that have inspired me to great length and they taught me a very important thing, which is courage.”
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– Photos by Mark Koldos, Eagle Pro Photo