Jonathan A. Bucio

Bachelor of Science, Software Engineering

Good afternoon, my name is Jonathan Bucio, and I am both honored and privileged to speak today on behalf of my classmates in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

First, I would like to thank our president, Dr. David E. Daniel, Dean Mark Spong, the associate deans and all of the UT Dallas faculty and staff for putting up with us crazy kids for the last 1,460 days. Let’s also look around at all the people who are sharing this day with us, those who have also supported us for these past four years or more – mothers, fathers, grandparents, sisters, brothers, roommates and all our friends – to you, we thank you.

Profile Photo of Jonathan A. Bucio

Before I continue with my speech, I would like to tell you all a story about a young man.

After having lived in Mexico for 15 years, this young man and his entire family moved to Austin so he could have the opportunity to go to college in the U.S. Not knowing what the SAT was or what “fill in the bubble” meant, he took this test in English, which was his second language, after studying for only two months. Later on, he applied to UT Dallas because he heard that it offered one of the best engineering programs in the nation, which he later figured out was true. He felt an instant connection as soon as he visited the campus for the first time, in the spring of 2010 at Freshman Orientation. He then knew that he could see himself attending this University.

The first months at UT Dallas were tough for him. New language. New environment. No friends. However, he was patient but more important, persistent. He knew if he persisted and maintained an open mind, he was going to find his place and his group of friends. Tired of watching movies all day on the weekends, he began to knock on the campus apartment doors, introducing himself and trying to start a conversation in a way that he hoped wouldn’t seem too creepy. He joined various organizations, met some amazing people, and made friendships that without a doubt will last for years. He found his place. He even learned a few very important survival tips that proved to be helpful throughout his college career, like rubbing Cecil Green’s head before every test, or going to the Success Center for help in any subject.

“We test ourselves by doing things that we find difficult. New experiences are what make us the people we are today and the people we will become tomorrow.”

Each one of us has his own story, some more difficult than others, but together we share many of the same stories, like enjoying the free pizza almost every day, listening to the loud music from the neighbor three doors down in the res halls, the long walks to the Dining Hall only to find out that you just missed breakfast, or hoping for class cancellations due to bad weather. If you remember, freshman year, a snow day turned into a snow week. And of course, how can we forget the struggle to connect to the CometNet Wi-Fi within the engineering building, and the weekly emails from Jerry Alexander? Together, we share the stories of all-nighters followed by caffeine crashes, hunting people down to find a parking spot, and walking through construction sites as one residence hall became four, and the near-completion of the biggest residence hall yet, “Big Daddy.” We can’t forget about the paint wars, or as SUAAB likes to call it, “Splatterdance.” We have shared all of these great stories, and now we share a new one: We are the class of 2014!

However, we are not finished living our stories or writing our next chapters. After today, some of us will become part of the workforce, looking to achieve fame and fortune. Others will go on to grad school, seeking another degree. Perhaps even some will want to buy a house, start a family, or create a new business.

After today, we start the next chapter. As our lives turn a page, I would like you to be prepared for what is to come. For sure, our stories will be highlighted with achievements and challenges. I encourage you to keep working hard. But most important, be persistent. Do not let anything or anyone stop you from what you want. If you are persistent with your goals and never give up, you will be successful. Benjamin Franklin said it himself: “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

Throughout your life, you will have to make all kinds of decisions. The answer will lie in either a “yes” or a “no.” Experiment with new things in your life, and try things you have never done before. Leaving that comfort zone is what makes us excel. We learn things about ourselves and discover new talents when we step outside our comfort zones. We test ourselves by doing things that we find difficult. New experiences are what make us the people we are today and the people we will become tomorrow. In the words of motivational speaker Denis Waitley, “There are no mistakes or failures, only lessons.”

So let us continue to create new stories and learn great lessons.

Thank you, class of 2014. Congratulations to each and every one of you. We made it, ECS graduates. We did it. Thank you, and I wish you the best.

Jonathan Bucio graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in software engineering. He has been a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Academic Excellence Scholarship Freshman Mentor Program. He is an Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science Student Ambassador, and has held various leadership positions in the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Last summer, he had the opportunity to study abroad in Rome. After his graduation, he will begin a 2 1/2-year Engineering Leadership Program with Experian and plans to pursue his master’s degree in Business Administration.