Webster Vienna Valedictorian Speech for the Undergraduate Class of 2020

Valedictorian Speech for the Undergraduate Class of 2020

Dear Graduating Class of 2020, 

As this year’s valedictorian of the undergraduate class, I feel humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to (virtually) address some last words to you before we close this important chapter of our lives. 

We, the graduating class of 2020, only had virtual goodbyes—no celebratory parties in our honor, no graduating ceremony, and somewhat no closure. For many of you, senior year just flashed by in the wink of an eye. I know many among you must have dreamed about the moment you would finally walk up on the stage, dressed in the cap and gown, with friends and family cheering you on in the background. I understand your sorrow and so do many others. However, let me remind you that graduation is more than an all-day celebratory event. 

It is a celebration of memories. It is an act of savoring your noteworthy accomplishments while reflecting on valuable lessons learned. It is about reminiscing the countless adventures you shared with your fellow colleagues. It is also farewell. Like everything else in life, this journey also has to eventually end. It is the time to say goodbye to friends and classmates, to good and bad times, and to everything that was familiar and comforting to you. However, most importantly, it is a beginning—a fresh start to set new goals, reach for newfound opportunities, and accept new challenges. This is the time to come out of your comfort zone. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Do not be afraid to try something new. Do not be afraid to fail. 

I know my words will never make up for a missed ceremony, but I hope they at least inspire you to take a few minutes to reflect on your journey as a student, to remember all the extraordinary moments, to gather your strength, and to anticipate the many adventures that lie ahead of you. 

Lastly, on a personal note, I would like to thank each and everyone I crossed paths with during the past couple of years—fellow colleagues, professors, and mentors alike. I, for one, cherish many great memories and look back at my time at Webster with nothing but gratitude for the privileged education and opportunities I received.

I hope each and every one of you will also look back at your time as a Webster student with gratitude and with a big smile on your face. I wish you all the best for your future endeavors and congratulations to the Class of 2020! 

Best wishes, 

Janine Goeschl 

Valedictorian of the Undergraduate Class of 2020

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