Graduation day is an experience that college students think about often – whether it be with excitement for the future or perhaps a fear of the unknown. However, before they cross the stage and turn their tassels, some of the university’s finest representatives offer them words of wisdom as they transition to alumni and seek refuge in the real world.
One of those people is Matthew St. Germain, a communication senior from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and this year’s Convocation Student Speaker for the Class of 2017.
Selected by the Associated Students of Michigan State University among other student applicants, St. Germain hopes to give the graduating class, family and friends a very “Matt-like” speech, he said.
“People can expect some pensive thoughts tempered with a little goofiness and inspiration. My hope is to make this significant life event even more enjoyable and memorable, and to send my fellow students off with an encouraging ‘hoorah!’” said St. Germain. “It is an honor to represent the graduating Class of 2017, and I hope to give a speech worthy of their world-class accomplishments.”
St. Germain is heavily involved in university life as a member of the University Academic Hearing Board, an undergraduate researcher, an intern at the MSU Federal Credit Union, a previous member of the Spartan Marching Band, RHS Representative as well as an apprentice of the University Carillonneur at Beaumont Tower.
“My co-workers know me as ‘Smiley,’ and I do my best to learn something new every day. I try to live very intentionally, and be grateful for the smallest things in life. I believe every moment of every day is an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and be the change you wish to see in others, and ultimately, the world,” said St. Germain. “I am never afraid to be my goofy self, but I also work extremely hard to demonstrate love and kindness to all. It may be cheesy, but I believe that something as simple as a genuine smile has the potential to turn someone's life around.”
He hopes to someday take his talents and enthusiasm into a future of helping others as a member of the Peace Corps or possibly working in developing countries on community and environmental sustainability. His goals might even provoke him to consider running for elected office, he said. St. Germain will enroll for the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Program in Communication with a specialization in Non-Profit Fundraising in the Fall of 2017.