Dear Graduating Communication Students,
Congratulations, Class of 2020, on your remarkable achievement! You’ve earned a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Communication at Michigan State University, one of the oldest and most highly ranked programs in the world. We, your faculty, are so proud of you and your accomplishments. We’ve recorded a short video for you, which you can access on any of our social media sites. While you’re there, please follow the department if you haven’t already done so!
We know that your senior year didn’t end the way you had hoped. We too hoped to see you walk in your Spartan Green gowns and hear your family and friends celebrating you from the stands. Here’s the thing: This won’t be the last time the world throws a curveball that messes up your plans. Here’s another thing, though: you’ll be ready. You’ll face those challenges with grit and determination.
We are reminded of the words of President Kennedy: “We choose to do…things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”
More than most, you have tackled challenges in your time at MSU that were not easy—but (and this is important) you tackled those challenges precisely because they were hard, and because they were necessary. Oddly enough, those hard things made you the graduates you are today. Because of that, we, your faculty, feel enormous pride to have known you and to have played a small part in helping you discover the tenacity, integrity, and excellence that were already inside of you. We believe you have become the kind of Spartans who will change the world. You’re poised to go out and make your mark on this planet, and we’ll be here cheering you on.
Usually we get to celebrate your accomplishments with you—as a family of Spartans. We get to meet your families, and we get to thank your supporters for helping you become the amazing people you are. You may be surprised to hear this, but some of your biggest fans – the people who celebrate you the most – are your faculty. We care deeply about you, and we can’t help but feel like we didn’t get the chance to properly celebrate you. So, we ask for this one favor: Come back. Come visit often. When you have a toddler, bring them around and have them waddle down the halls of the Communication Arts and Sciences building. Bring your siblings, your significant other, your parents, your friends. Come back to tailgate, to be an alumni Izzone member. Introduce your people to us and tell us about what you’ve been up to.
Today is simply the day your celebration begins, but it does not end today. Celebrate being a Spartan every day for the rest of your life. Celebrate with your work ethic, celebrate by caring about your fellow humans, celebrate by bringing justice and kindness to the world. Celebrate by dreaming big and not giving up. Celebrate by chasing excellence rather than money, fortune, or fame.
If you can do that, every day will be a celebration to you. And when life throws you a curveball, you’ll be prepared to approach that challenge with the grit, determination, and hard work that Spartans know best, and even the tough stuff will be a celebration of who you have become.
Dr. Monique Turner, Department of Communication Chair
Dr. Mandy Holmstrom
Dr. Brandon Van Der Heide