“Opportunities”

Madeleine Juszynski ’18

Senior Class President Address
2018 Ohio Wesleyan University Commencement Ceremony
May 12, 2018

Madeleine Juszynski ’18 delivers the senior class president address at OWU’s 2018 Commencement Ceremony. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

Over the years, I’ve heard the story of my mother’s first night at college a million times.

After her family dropped her off at a school where she knew no one, she sat in her dorm room, ate sesame stix for dinner, and cried.

Somehow, the sesame stix are so crucial they make it into every telling of the story.

I avoided the same fate on my first night at college because I never got a chance to stay inside or be bored.

From the moment I stepped on campus, Ohio Wesleyan gave me opportunities to learn, to travel, and to lead.

My classmates and I have had some incredible experiences here, and I continue to be impressed by everything the Class of 2018 has accomplished.

Collectively, we have explored academic issues, conducted research, and completed service projects on campus, across the nation, and around the world. We have excelled in athletics, and we have participated in political causes and social movements to ensure our voices are heard.

But what really impresses me about Ohio Wesleyan is how hard our professors and mentors have worked to make us better. We were all admitted here because Ohio Wesleyan saw in us a spark that had the potential to catch fire.

Each of our professors worked to turn raw intellect into something more polished: into opinions that could be thoughtfully defended; into critical-thinking skills that allow us to engage with the world in a more mature way; into the ability to respectfully interact with members of other cultures.

Our administrators and fellow student leaders saw passion in the class that entered four years ago and worked to transform enthusiasm into determination, to develop passion into commitment. Our experiences in and out of the classroom have taught us how to be moral leaders in a global society.

My counterpart last year said the gift Ohio Wesleyan gave her was the knowledge of how to ask the right questions. She was right about that, but I think the best lesson Ohio Wesleyan taught me is to stand up and say, “I can.”

Ohio Wesleyan graduates are prepared to take leadership roles in organizations that mean something to us, to volunteer for causes we care about deeply, and to step in where help is most needed.

Ohio Wesleyan likes to brag that we are a college that changes lives, and that is true. Now the graduates of this class are ready to leave and change the lives of others.

Class of 2018, it’s been an honor. Thank you and congratulations!