“Commencement Address

Caroline Hamlin ’19

Senior Class President Address
2019 Ohio Wesleyan University Commencement Ceremony
May 11, 2019

Caroline Hamlin ’19 delivers the senior class president address at OWU’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

Members of the Board, Dr. Jones, administration, faculty, staff, family and friends, and the senior Class of 2019, thank you for this journey!

As a Texas girl coming to Ohio to visit the University in the middle of February who did not own a “real” winter coat at the time, with temperatures below zero degrees, I was inspired by my father, Matthew Hamlin, Class of 1976, who spoke fondly of his college experiences here at Ohio Wesleyan.

He helped me look beyond the brutally cold weather and make my college decision based on factors more important. Thank You, Dad!

Four short years ago, we all arrived at OWU not knowing what to expect, how to assimilate, meeting each other for the first time and beginning the exploration of self through higher education.

With the opportunity to reflect, permit me to share a view of the university Administration. Faced with many difficult challenges, the administration was able to address adversity and make decisions that were necessary, understandable, and at times difficult.

The commitment of the administration and staff to improving the quality of student life has been integral to the mission of Ohio Wesleyan. We are so thankful for your leadership and continued investment in curriculum and programs. Personally, I wish to thank Dr. Jones for the opportunity to witness and learn from his strong leadership and communication skills.

To the faculty who have been so influential and inspiring in our lives, your dedication to the student body is tremendously admirable.

You have given us the tools to face daunting challenges, develop critical-thinking capabilities, and explore our creative potential.

Through 15-page research assignments, forced group projects, and terrifying class presentations, you have made pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone a reality. You have successfully connected with us by mastering our generation’s lingo, immersing yourselves in today’s culture, and leading by example to do good.

We are so grateful for the intellectual challenges and friendships.

To our personal supporters, parents, and family, we are so grateful for the love that you have given us throughout one of the most life-changing chapters in our lives. It is a great comfort to know you will always be there for us in times of need, in times of sorrow, and in times of celebration.

To my colleagues, the Class of 2019 – Wow! What a fabulous group of young people! I am honored to know you, and I am humbled to have been a part of our shared journey.

We should be proud of the things we have accomplished and also learn from the failures that we have endured. We have become resilient individuals who have the confidence and skills to succeed.

Among the life lessons I have learned throughout my college experience is that being true to yourself is the most valuable of all. At the end of the day, whatever you may pursue after college, you must always believe in yourself.

Your True North will always guide you to your goals and passions that Ohio Wesleyan has helped you to find. Your internal compass, unique to who you are, represents your deepest beliefs, values, and morals.

Ohio Wesleyan has been an enriching journey of social and intellectual development. For all the good and bad encounters with each other, we recognize the benefits of each, gaining a deeper appreciation of self and developing meaningful friendships for life.

Time has passed so fast. Going forward, leverage what you have learned at Ohio Wesleyan. Be bold in all you do, be kind to all you meet, do your best, and be great!

The business philosopher Jim Rohn said, “As long as you have the hunger for success, you will always have the power within you to achieve it.”

Our opportunity to influence the world and create positive change for the well-being of others is in our hands. Don’t merely be the revolution, but the reason for the revolution.

To those who have touched our lives, thank you! To our families who have been supportive throughout these college years, thank you! And, to my classmates, I love you. Thank you so much!