Makaila P. Marshall (B.A. Communication, 2017) gave the Student Commencement Address at the Michigan State University Undergraduate Winter Commencement December 16th, 2017, at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing. Ms. Marshall was competitively selected from a pool of applicants.
“Serving as the commencement speaker was a once-in-a-lifetime moment that I will truly cherish for the rest of my life,” said Ms. Marshall. “The most unbelievable feeling was looking out into the crowd and knowing that thousands of people were listening. It was immensely important for me to leave my mark at MSU and delivering that speech was the icing on the cake I’ve been preparing for years.”
Department of Communication graduates have represented a disproportionately high share of MSU commencement speakers over the years. Communication graduates tend to exhibit excellent speaking skills and professional poise together with the ability to inspire and tell meaningful stories to listeners. Makaila was no exception.
"Makaila was a superlative ambassador for Michigan State and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences as a member of the MSU Alumni Association Homecoming Court. Her commencement speech was one of the most inspiring I’ve heard in my 8 years as Executive Director. She’s living proof that CAS majors become leaders, lifesavers and world-changers,” said Scott Westerman, MSU Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations.
“I was delighted but not surprised by her performance,” said Department Chair Jim Dearing. “When we met in my office earlier it was obvious this is a young woman who is going places.”
With family in Ohio, Makaila is planning the next stage of her career. “I want to do exactly what I said at the conclusion of my speech – change the world.”