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DAKOTA LYNN DAVIS

Bachelor of Science, Interdisciplinary Studies

Hello all and thank you for being a part of our spring 2015 commencement ceremony.

Many things in life come in pairs: shoes, socks, eyes, ears, skis, speakers — you get the idea. When I was trying to figure out what to say to all of you today, this notion came to me about how our college journey can be summed up in a series of pairs.

First, there's the beginning and the end. I don't know about you, but I can still remember my first day of freshman orientation as if it were yesterday: learning how to whoosh, getting my Comet Card, setting up my schedule, signing the "Class of 2015" banner now hanging in the Student Union, feeling as though I was on top of the world with all my excitement.

Yet as fresh as that memory is, here I stand before you today at the end of the road four years later. I know that as the years pass, this day too will become a treasured memory.

"This day, this cap and gown, this diploma, they are all evidence of the hard work and success we have attained through our time here."

The second pair is success and failure. Now I know I don't speak only for myself when I say that completing your education at The University of Texas at Dallas is no walk in the park. We have attended a prestigious university that is known for high academic standards, and it is easy to see how those standards are obtained by the levels of expectation that were placed on each and every one of us. The professors hold us to a much higher standard than students at other universities. They challenge us and push us to become better students and better people every day.

There are times that we have failed and not lived up to those expectations, if even for only a small fraction of time. We have struggled to keep up with the rigor and complexity of our courses and at times have fallen short. Sorry if this is shocking news to you, but none of us has been perfect through this passage.

However, the fact that we're here together today is the proof that we have, in the end, achieved far more successes. This day, this cap and gown, this diploma, they are all evidence of the hard work and success we have attained through our time here.

The last pair to sum up our college experience is the most important: now and then. Simple as this may sound, it holds a lot of weight in what we have done and what we are yet to do.

Think back to your first semester, we were thinking, "Now I start my college career, then I will have an education." Go back to last semester and how we all thought, "Now we're almost done and then we'll graduate." Now let's bring it back to today. Now we are college students, then we will be college graduates.

Now we sit here awaiting our diplomas, then we go out into the world with them. Now we have a dream, a vision for how we want to leave a mark on this world, then we have the opportunity to make it happen.

Though we have reached the end of this journey, more await us, so I leave you with one final pair of options: Will you envision all of the possibility ahead of you, or will you live it out as a reality? Thank you.


Dakota Lynn Davis graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on math education. She participated in the UTeach program and was a member of the cross-country team. She also is a member of the Delta Epsilon Iota academic honor society and was a repeat dean's list honoree. After graduation, she will begin her first year as a middle school math teacher and coach at a local private school.

 

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