“Class of 2020: Senior Class President Address”

Nevin Horne ’20

Senior Class President Address
176th and 177th Ohio Wesleyan University Commencement Ceremony
May 29, 2021

Nevin Horne ’20 delivers the Class of 2020 senior class president address at OWU’s 2020 and 2021 Commencement Ceremony. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

I was sitting by my computer recently, with a blank document, not entirely sure what to say, to do, or to feel about Commencement today. The moment of uncertainty seemed to encapsulate my senior year of college, which feels so long ago now.

I remember getting that email in March of 2020, we all know it: Rock telling us our year was over. Well, not really over, but effectively so, which then leads to more late nights staring at my computer screen not really being sure what to say to the seniors, what to say to the people who expected to enjoy their last eight weeks of college. I couldn't say anything, not words of encouragement, or despair, just nothing.

What do you say to people when something so life-changing has occurred? I really didn’t want to be cliché, and my mom really didn’t want to hear me say the phrase “unprecedented times” – well, sorry to disappoint you, Mom. These days aren’t like any others that we will, hopefully, ever have to live through again.

I struggle to put into words how I feel about this day. I am sure a large chunk of you are happy; although some are probably like me – confused. Why do I need to revisit this part of my life? We did it; we got our diploma.

But the reason to come back is the community we built. We have gone a year with little to no outside lives, and now we are back to actually celebrate the very thing we set out to achieve in the fall of 2016. Commencement is a milestone accomplishment, and we deserve to celebrate today with family and friends.

OWU will never just be a place for us. It’ll be memories that help shape us and make us who we are today. I will always remember Dr. Gitter teasing me about my St. Louis Blues regalia, or Brad and his bowtie, or Greg and his attempt to win WCSA President like four times.

All these little memories combined to make my OWU experience. I struggled to think of something truly meaningful to say today, but I really didn’t need to. We are here, in our second home, reconnecting and celebrating, even as we move on in life.

But this isn’t the end, only the start. Now we join the OWU alumni community, creating a third home that will always be there for us. The people on this campus will change, but our memories, our accomplishments, and people we have met along the way never will. So, forever and always, roll ’Shops.

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