2013 Commencement Speech - Hanan Rahman

May. 15, 2013

Assalaamu alykum wa sabah al khair my fellow class of 2013! Which in Arabic means “peace be upon to you all and good morning.”

Who remembers our high school graduation? It was extremely boring and nerve wrecking, all we heard was long speeches discussing how on that very day is where we will go off into the real world and become responsible adults and they stressed the importance of going to college. So now here we are on this very day, with a college degree. So now what? As it is not the transition from high school to college that makes us adults and successful, because for some, like myself, we were indecisive, but it is when we attain a college degree that makes us adults and successful.

Know, that you all are here because you accomplished something big, something amazing. And for some our next step is getting a job and/or going off to graduate school, whatever it is, it will only get you to a better place in life.

I would like to share something about myself to you all. My family are immigrants and refugees from Palestine, they had to start their life over twice, fleeing the war in Palestine going to Venezuela then after some time again moving, this time to the U.S. I can only thank God for the blessing He gave us and for those who went through the same. For most of us, our parents are making a living and sacrificing their lives for us to go school, be educated, and attain a higher degree so we do not have to suffer what they had to suffer. Please a round of applause to our parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles…that very person who was there for you from day one, the one who supported and mentored you!

And how can we forget the administrators, professors and staff at Webster U? On behalf of the class of 2013, I would like to thank you and acknowledge you all to the diverse and the warm welcoming environment you have created for us, I have met international students from different parts of the globe, from Nicaragua, Germany, Uganda, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia and the list goes on. And that is what attracted me about Webster, its diversity, the international aspect, study abroad (in which was the absolute best part of Webster). Or how our class sizes were just perfect and we had that one on one relationship with our professors, professors who cared about their student's success and strived to make it easier for us. Please a round of applause to Webster University, setting a side our indifferences and frustration towards the financial aid office (lol), to our professors, administrators, faculty and staff!

It was my goal not to bore you with an ordinary graduation speech. I know that all of you just want your diploma and celebrate with your family and friends, I am right there with you. Therefore I am here before you, on this beautiful and lovely day, to sincerely congratulate you all for the years and amount of dedication you have put forth in attaining your degree. This is your time to shine and to celebrate; you are the center of attention, no one else. (InshAllah, meaning God Willing), may you have a happy and easy going life, yes there will be a obstacles that stand in your way but you will find a way to go around it. If you came this far in your life, you already accomplished so much and you can do so much more.

Therefore, my class of 2013, I will bid you all a farewell, for some we will not see each other again and maybe others we will. Good luck to you all and your life endeavors! Give yourselves a round of applause because today is your day. Thank you all!