Julia McLean's Graduation Speech Dec 2013

Julia McLean
Superior Edge Graduation Speech
December 13, 2013

Superior, by definition: of high quality: high or higher in quality: great or greater in amount, number, or degree: better than other people

All of the graduates gathered in this room today are here for this reason: you are superior. Superior by definition, superior in actions, and superior in every way you can be. By electing to be a part of this program, and by following through till its completion, you have proven your superiority from the crowd. Rachel Harris asked me to talk about my personal experiences in the program today, but instead, I want you to reflect on yours.

Leadership. A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. In your leadership experiences, you have learned the skills necessary to be the leader Douglas MacArthur describes in this quote. Whether you dedicated your time to a student organization, the SLFP, or in the workplace, the leadership skills you honed here will carry though to you career, as well as the rest of your life.

Citizenship. “The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” I believe that this quote by Gordon Hinckley embodies the Superior Edge citizenship experience. By completing 100 hours, you all know it to be true that volunteerism, despite all the aide it gives to others, is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Diversity. “I think the more diversity that one has in his life, the happier he can be.” Steven Seagal. Whether your diversity edge was completed by taking a language course here NMU, immersing yourself in the Yooper culture locally, or by studying abroad in a foreign land, by diversifying your college experience, you have proved yourself superior.

Real World. Seems like a scary place, doesn’t it? However, by completing this edge, you have the advantage as you enter the “real world”. By practicing what you’ve learned in your theory classes, Superior Edge graduates are more prepared to enter the workplace and to be successful.

I’m privileged to call myself a graduate of this program, and you should feel the same. Whether you completed 100, 400, or 1000 (or maybe more!) hours, you deserve to graduate with your head held high, knowing that you went above and beyond the average college experience. You will all make your mark on this world in the same way you made a mark on this university because of the Superior Edge.