UBC Commerce Valedictory speech- April 1990

Dear Dean & Mrs. Lusztig, Members of the Faculty of Commerce, Fellow graduate students

Upon graduation, the question that can be heard ringing through the halls is “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NOW?” For many it is an uneasy sensation, similar to what one feels when they discover that an hours preparation or cramming before a midterm exam isn’t quite enough.

After 5 years of Commerce, I truly feel that we are now ready to face the challenges that lie before us, each of us having suffered through and completed our degrees. From our many experiences at UBC, we should cherish the good aspects, such as friendship. I think the most rewarding experience of our university careers has been the friendships that have developed over the last 5 years. Such friendships have instilled feelings of togetherness & sharing, the sharing of ideas, feelings and ambitions. These are true friendships that will remain with you a lifetime, they are to be treasured and valued like no other.

We should also learn from the bad, that is, don’t let your failures pull you down, but may they provide you with an incentive to work harder and continue to strive towards the most prestigious of achievements. In anything you set out to do, do not accept mediocrity. Advancement cannot occur in the world if individuals simply desire sufficiency or adequacy, rather than excellence.

I think now, more than ever before, we have realized we must work hard for what we want – – we must take responsibility for our lives and persevere. At UBC, we’ve learned not to accept indifferent efforts from ourselves. Each one of us, even Accountants, has a strong feature or talent that distinguishes us from one another, and this talent has hopefully been strengthened during the past half decade. In whatever you aspire to become, develop your talent to the fullest, and use it to your advantage. Goals are dreams and wishes that are not easily reached. You have to work hard to obtain them, never knowing when or where you will reach your goal. BUT KEEP TRYING!!! Do not give up hope, and most of all never stop believing in you. For within you, there is someone special, someone wonderful and successful. No matter what you achieve, as long as you want it and if makes you happy, you are a success.

You must employ your privileged position as University Graduates as a positive influence as you venture into the work force. It is imperative to realize that we, as the youth of today, and as the contributors of our society tomorrow, will have the capacity, and moreover, the responsibility to steer society in the direction in which we wish it to go. We must remember that the experience and knowledge, which we have accumulated over the past 17 years, represents only the start of our real education. To quote Winston Churchill:
“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Good luck to you all and thank you!

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