DePaul Driehaus College of Business | 2021 Commencement
Narrator: We proudly present DePaul University's 122nd Commencement Ceremonies. I hear the words Graduation Day, I feel elated, very thankful for everyone on my journey, my parents, my friends, my family. I'm feeling good because being a student is like having a little shelter around you. The expectations are a little bit different and once you graduate, it's like you come out of your cocoon. Now you're a real adult, so.
It is a privilege... to be able to be wearing these robes and to have this degree. And eventually have a license that would allow me to practice law. When I hear the words Graduation Day, I think of accomplishments and hard work, sacrifice, and joy.
Lots of feelings, but excited. I feel proud of myself, you know, that I was able to... make it all the way to the finish line And I feel accomplished, I feel excited, and finally is today. The achievement of a dream. That's really what Graduation Day means to me. If I had to sum up DePaul in one word, it would be transformative.
My mindset has completely changed I've been exposed to perspectives that I wouldn't have otherwise had. I don't know, it was amazing, you know. The faculty, the school. I could also describe it as electric because you... you feel the energy whenever you come here.
You have your good time, you have your bad time, and but to the end, you do find everything you've been through is worth it. So that's why I choose the word rewarding. As a dream and now it's reality. DePaul makes dreams reality. Narrator: Please welcome the Provost of DePaul University, Dr. Salma Ghanem.
Members of the faculty, staff, administration, honored guests, and of course our graduates. It is my pleasure to welcome you to our 122nd Commencement Ceremony. Commencement is one of the most meaningful ceremonies of a student's academic career and a DePaul Commencement is anything but ordinary. As a Catholic-Vincentian University, we share a commitment to uphold the dignity of every single person. We call it Vincentian personalism.
That is why we take the time to recognize every graduating student. As part of today's ceremony, we will feature you on your own digital slide. We want to give every student their moment because that's the DePaul way. It's also why we encourage all the students, family members, and friends watching to stay until the end. We know how many challenges the Class of 2021 faced this past year. When you joined DePaul, I'm sure this was not the final year or the commencement ceremony you envisioned.
If you feel frustrated or sad or disappointed, that's okay. Trust me, I get it. This academic year has been like no other. From learning remotely, to social unrest, to witnessing heart-breaking acts of violence and racism, you have overcome tremendous hurdles.
As a result, you are now stronger and wiser. While living through a global pandemic has certainly affected your time at DePaul, don't let it define your entire experience. You ran the marathon and today you crossed the finish line.
Let's celebrate your many accomplishments. I do hope you participated in and enjoyed the graduation celebration event we held on the Lincoln Park Campus for 10 days in the end of May. It was such a joy to see our students walk across the stage in the graduation experience canopy while your loved ones cheered you on.
Speaking of whom, if you're watching today's ceremony with a friend or family member, please pause for a moment, turn to them and say, thank you. If you're physically apart from the ones you love, take a moment and send them a message to express your gratitude. Don't ever forget all the people who helped you get to this moment in your academic career, including the faculty and staff who shared their talent and wisdom with you.
Now, it is your responsibility to carry their teachings forward. On behalf of the entire DePaul community, congratulations. We can't wait to see what you do next. As you begin your next adventure, don't forget to stay connected to DePaul, share your milestones with us.
We would love to hear about them and we know there will be many. Now at DePaul, graduation is all about our students. Throughout today's ceremony, we will be hearing from DePaul students. Starting with the invocation. Our opening prayer not only reflects our Catholic and Vincentian values, but also mirrors how DePaul compassionately upholds the dignity of all members of its diverse multi-faith and inclusive community. Today, we are led in prayer by four students who have chosen to reflect on loss and hope.
They bring their prayers from the orthodox Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Roman Catholic traditions. We invite all who wish to join these students in prayer knowing that while their specific words may not be universal, we hope their sense of acknowledging and calling in the divine speaks to many. For those who do not wish to join in prayer, we are thankful for your quiet reflection.
Besme Ab, Weweld, Wemenfes Kidus, Aadu Amlak. Amen. I pray in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One God, Amen. Lord, even in happy times such as our graduation, we come to You surrounded by sadness. Many of us have witnessed or experienced loss, social unrest, and deaths of innocent people and never-ending wars including my homelands, Ethiopia and Yemen.
We've experienced the disappointments of missing out on classroom banters, internship opportunities, celebration of life, and building relationships. May we never forget that life is unequivocally precious and should not be determined otherwise by those filled with racial aggressions, towards our BIPOC communities. Lord, for however long our grief may last, remind us that we are not alone, provide us comfort, and ease our pain that we may carry with us. I pray for your blessing to see hope and progress towards our healing.
Fill our hearts with everlasting strength and Vincentian spirits so we may handle whatever awaits us. As we strive towards healing, we find ourselves in times of uncertainty. We've waded through the waters of grief and now, where do we go from here? We finished our time at DePaul and now many of us ask, "now what?" The world still feels as if it's on pause. And yet, in these times of unknowing, we strive for something new, looking into each day with fresh eyes.
We say, "u'v'tuvo m'chadesh b'chol yom tamid ma'aseh v’reishit" And in the goodness of Adonai, Adonai renews each and every day in the creation of the world. Each day, Adonai begins the world anew. As we face a new world ahead of us, we remember that as children of God, every day is an opportunity for a new beginning, for new adventures and for new stories to be created.
We trust Adonai to lead us into these new chapters of our lives. (Recites prayers in Arabic) (Recites prayers in Arabic) (Recites prayers in Arabic) (Recites prayers in Arabic) (Recites prayers in Arabic) All praise and thanks are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Oh Allah, send peace and blessings on Mohammed صلى الله عليه و آله و سلم and on his family and followers. Our Lord, bless us with mercy from Your own and provide us with guidance in our matters. Our Lord, we are in need of whatever good you send on us.
Our Lord, forgive those who have returned to you. Grant healing and patience to us who still remain. Our Lord, what hope do we have besides you? If you don't give us a reason to have hope today, then no one else can. Indeed, you have power over all things. Heavenly Father, through the life, death, and resurrection of your son Jesus, you give us a new life and hope.
Grant, we pray oh Lord, as our time at DePaul comes to a close, that we may be a people of faith. Send your Holy Spirit onto us as we enter the world that we might be a light in the darkness. As members of the Vincentian family, help us to recognize you in one another, in the stranger, and in those on the margins of our world. Thank you for all the blessings you have given us.
Open our hearts to your grace as we become beacons of your love in the years to come. We ask your presence among all gathered here as in jubilation we celebrate together. Amen. The most valuable thing I learned at DePaul is definitely to work hard and to push yourself to do quality work all the time.
Time management. I learned how to manage my time. Before I was very -- I did whatever I wanted, but I had to really be consistent and learn how to manage my time. Ask for help when you need it. There's always someone out there willing to help you. You just have to ask. Keep going and like -- and find the things that bring you joy as much as you can.
Oh, this kind of sounds weird but empathy. So I feel like everyone thinks that they're empathetic, like just naturally, but... to actually be empathetic and practice that there's a big difference between sympathy and empathy and that is...
it changes lives. When my mom first came here with me, she was like, I really hope you go here and like, I really like it here. And that's like, one of the things like Sarah and I first connected on, when we were like freshmen, is this like... the value in community of like caring for community.
It's a very small cohort in each major and each year, which allows us to like really dig deep into those relationships. And I think that's what allowed me to get through college and stay because there were these people that I spent all my time with that really became a pretty tremendous support system. Narrator: Please welcome Lucy Baker, a member of the Class of 2021, who will be performing the National Anthem. O say can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight O'er the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly streaming.
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there, O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. I hope, you know, you made it, you made it to graduation day. You made it through the long nights, the midterms, the finals, that class or two that had you doubting your abilities, but you made it. I hope you know someone is proud of you.
You should be proud of you. Graduating during times like these is no easy task. It's for the brave. I hope during your time at DePaul, you took St. Vincent's model of what must be done to inspire you to take on leadership position, lend a helping hand to your community or communities that might not look like yours on the surface, but are more alike to you than different. If you did not, I hope you know it's not too late.
I hope you know what must be done is a constant question that must be asked beyond DePaul's walls. We've inherited a world that needs our help, how to sustain itself whether that means fighting the good fight against racism towards any marginalized group, fighting against ableism, towards visible and invisible disabilities, fighting against xenophobia towards our brothers and sisters and non-binary family members across the globe, fighting against inequities rooted in sexism, transphobia and homophobia caused by fear when it should just be met with love and curiosity. I hope you know this is only the beginning of who you can be, who you want to be. As a matter of fact, this is the beginning of who you must be. You don't need to be an expert at change. You just got to want to be an active participant.
I hope you know you got this, we got this. You are fully equipped with everything you need to level up. So step forward, give yourself a hand, and repeat after me, to new beginnings. Narrator: Please welcome the interim Dean of the Driehaus College of Business, Thomas Donley. On behalf of the faculty and staff of the Driehaus College of Business, it's my great honor to congratulate you on achieving your degree. We join your family and friends in feeling immense pride in your accomplishment.
Collectively, you have earned your place in the Class of 2021 by mastering lessons in accounting, economics, finance, real estate, hospitality, marketing, and management. But perhaps the most important lesson you've learned is how to overcome life's unexpected challenges. In my field of economics, an unpredictable event that upends the economy is called a shock. Shocks can have both negative and positive effects.
No doubt, you have felt the shock of a pandemic in negative ways, both economically and personally. You and your family's lives and livelihoods have likely been disrupted. Some of you have lost loved ones or have been stricken by the virus yourselves. At times over the past year, you have probably felt frustrated, isolated or anxious as you managed relationships, work and learning remotely. The pandemic has tested your resilience and resolve, but here is a positive part.
You had the fortitude to keep going. You persisted in reaching for your goal. And today your efforts are rewarded. Today... you have earned your degree from the Driehaus College of Business.
The path ahead is full of uncertainty, but also hope. As DePaul graduates you are ready for whatever the future brings because your education has prepared you for the real world. You know how to apply theory to practice and get results.
You've honed your leadership and teamwork skills to overcome barriers. And you can rely on a strong community of DePaul peers, faculty members, mentors, and alumni who believe in you. Together... these experiences and connections have prepared you to succeed in an uncertain world. I am not saying it will be easy. Nothing worth achieving ever is.
But you are tenacious. You are problem solvers. You are doers. The business world needs people like you. So go out there..
and show them what a DePaul business graduate can do. We, the faculty and staff of the college, as well as your family and your friends are proud of you. Congratulations Class of 2021. Now it is my pleasure to introduce our student speaker. Sebastian Moreno has distinguished himself as a student, campus leader, and mentor. He is the co-founder of two new organizations, DePaul TeaTalks and DePaul Inclusion In Finance, both promote diversity and inclusion on campus.
Sebastian mentors students through our Keeley Center Academy and also served on a task force that is promoting diversity and inclusion within our college. Following graduation with a bachelor's degree in finance and economics, he will be joining Microsoft in Redmond, Washington as a part of their finance rotation program. Sebastian hopes to be able to help others from diverse backgrounds bridge the gap when it comes to diversity in finance. Please welcome Sebastian Moreno. [Foreign Language] Thank you, Dean Donley, esteemed faculty, honored guests, family, friends, and Class of 2021. Some of you may have understood what I just said, but for those of you who didn't, that was Spanish.
That same feeling of confusion and frustration you may have just felt, Is similar to what many of us in the class of 2021 felt during our first day at DePaul. Not knowing what to expect but excited about the future that lay ahead. Today is a testament to how much we've grown since that first day and I am honored to celebrate the incredible achievements that this class of unique individuals has accomplished. Like many of my peers are roughly 40% of DePaul's undergraduate population, I did not start my journey at DePaul. I started at a state school in Indiana, thinking I had made it, as those around me told me. By the end of my first semester, I had health complications, didn't feel like I was fitting in, and to be honest, really missed Portillo's and deep dish pizza.
After seeing how warmly DePaul embraced transfer students, along with the university's belief that every student can positively impact our world, it was a no brainer. DePaul was where I belonged. I'll be honest, before I enrolled I felt excited, yes, but also nervous.
There's often a negative stigma associated with transfer students, such as being different or having failed. You may not know this, but notable transfer students around the country include Warren Buffet, former President Barack Obama, and the late Richard Driehaus himself who transferred from a small junior college after seeing how welcoming DePaul was to new students. I share this today because everyone before me in the class of 2021 has a success story they are proud of, one which would not have been possible without the diversity of ideas and lessons their educators and classmates shared with them at DePaul. We're the first class in DePaul history that switched to a fully virtual school year due to a national health crisis.
Ambiguity however, is not something we are unfamiliar with. Our generation was raised in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and the financial crisis of 2008. And though this global pandemic is unprecedented, this won't be the last time we face adversity in our lives. If there's one thing I've learned during my time at DePaul, it's that the success of this school lies in the strong ability to adapt and learn from challenges we face daily. Whether you worked a part-time internship while going to school full-time, or whether you survived professor Essenburg's banking and credit analysis class, or even got involved on campus in clubs or other groups like I did with the Keeley Center Academy, you pushed yourself outside of your boundaries.
We encourage each other to get ahead while learning from our failures and building lifelong friendships. Simply said, here, we do. DePaul's diversity has prepared us for the real world through our wide variety of cultures, by teaching us that differences are our strengths, and that inclusion goes hand in hand with the success of teamwork. I look at my peers in the Class of 2021 and I see students with determination and ambition, students who were working hard to build a better future.
I am reminded that we've all come a long way since the first time we took the Red Line wondering where the Lincoln Park stop was. Little did we know... we would consume more Chipotle than we ever imagined, or that we'd end up shopping at Whole Foods on Fullerton just a bit more than our budget may have allowed. The promise of a greater future is a goal we are dedicated to pursuing based on our Vincentian values.
Now more than ever, it's important we stay true to this commitment, as alumni and as lifelong learners. To quote Richard Driehaus “A life isn't significant except for its impact on other lives.” Now... it's our turn to go inspire and help those future students as current alumni have done for us. Although it may seem like one chapter is closing, commencement actually means beginning and our journey is just getting started.
So I'll leave you with the same advice I received when I first started at DePaul, be curious, be bold, and take risks. You won't regret it. Felicidades and congratulations to the Class of 2021. I'm actually most proud about the journey. It's not the, you know, the end destination.
I think it's just the journey. Sometimes you kind of forget what it took to get here. Holding a leadership role through my sorority as well, I got to serve as the Vice President of Risk Management at my sorority.
I was invited to be part of the College Communication’s Showcase, and I was able to show off one of the documentaries that I made. The accomplishment that I'm most proud of is being on a trial team my first year. Honestly, just getting into DePaul. This -- that's been awesome and then runner-up is going to be graduating. The thing that I'm most proud of for accomplishing here is that I'm the first one in my family to graduate. I'm thankful so much for my family.
I would say the person I'm thankful for is my husband. Mostly my mom because she has always been there for me and she let me find my own path without in -- influencing it in the right ways, but not forcing me to do anything that I didn't want to do. My mom was my source of counsel, she was my source of comfort, and she was my source of pull it together, you need to do this. I’m thankful for my parents for... definitely they wanted me to be like a nurse or a doctor, but I told them like I wanted to be in game development and they were really like supportive of me, and I really appreciate that about them. I'm really thankful for my fellow RAs because they made my experience what it is.
The people I am most thankful for is definitely my family and my older sister. Like, she pushed me a lot. I want to especially give a shoutout to my mom because she got her degree here at DePaul, and she was a big reason why I wanted to go to DePaul.
Narrator: The Dean will now present the candidates for the Conferral of Degrees. President Esteban, on behalf of the faculty and staff of the Driehaus College of Business and the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, I respectfully present the candidates and recommend that the announced degrees be conferred upon them. By the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees and the State of Illinois, I confer upon you the degree for which you have been recommended, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities appertaining thereonto. Narrator: The following candidates have successfully completed the requirements and have been awarded the respective degrees. I feel accomplished.
I feel very proud. When I was a freshman, I was nervous, but excited for all opportunities. DePaul has connected me to some amazing mentors, professional opportunities, and some of my closest friends. This pandemic has helped me, have a clear direction of what I want to do with my career. Male Student: The Vincentian mission has really taught me that when I see injustice, I have to say something and I have to do something. Female Student: After I graduate, I hope to pursue a career that makes me happy and just live a life that I'm super proud of.
And it's just really up to me to determine what it is that I really want to do because I know I'm built to succeed. Narrator: Please welcome the President of DePaul University, Dr. Gabriel Esteban. Members of the Vincentian community and the clergy, trustees, live trustees, faculty, administration, staff, and honored guests.
I'm Gabriel Esteban, President of DePaul University. Thank you for joining us today to celebrate the DePaul University Class of 2021. Your presence means everything to us.
I also would like to recognize any members of the military and veterans who are watching today's ceremony. Thank you for your service. I know this year has not been easy especially for our graduating students. It's important to acknowledge that living through a global pandemic is a defining experience.
You're different because of it. You're more flexible and patient. You're stronger.
You likely have a new perspective on life. I'm inspired by your tenacity, drive and kindness. The Class of 2021 has demonstrated throughout this time.
I'm also extremely grateful to all the faculty and staff who have supported our students throughout this past year. You went above and beyond to make sure our students succeeded and completed their education at DePaul. Today is a victory for you as well. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. At DePaul, we strive to be an inclusive and diverse community of learners who work for change. We work together to transform society.
The world has a lot of uncertainties right now but hope is on the horizon. We can feel the real potential for individual, institutional, and societal change. That's why now more than ever, the world needs DePaul graduates.
There are more than 6,000 students in the class of 2021 and the world needs every single one of you. We need entrepreneurs, economists and hospitality leaders, journalists, filmmakers, computer scientists, and game designers, teachers, counselors, writers, artists, diplomats and historians, nurses, psychologists, scientists and mathematicians, musicians and actors. The world needs DePaul graduates because you know what it takes to succeed.
You know how to roll up your sleeves and do whatever it takes to get the job done. You understand the importance of giving back. You have the courage to ask what must be done. At DePaul, our Catholic-Vincentian mission to serve the public good is at the heart of everything we do. We have taught you to fight for social justice, help those most in need.
listen, and be kind. Please keep our Vincentian values close to your heart. Be mindful of the responsibility that comes with a DePaul diploma.
The diploma that bears the name of St. Vincent de Paul. DePaul University, Class of 2021, you are ready to serve a changing world, transformed by your DePaul education, grounded in mission... make us proud. The last step in your journey at DePaul... is to be inducted into the alumni community.
It is my distinct honor to introduce our special alumni guests four-time Emmy Award winner, Lourdes Duarte. Lourdes earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication from DePaul University. She co-anchors the WGN evening news and is one of the station’s top investigative reporters. DePaul has always been proud to call Lourdes one of our own. We're very grateful she could join us today to celebrate the Class of 2021. Please join me in welcoming Lourdes Duarte.
Well, not long ago, I was in the same place you find yourself in right now. Only I didn't face the obstacles you've all overcome, a pandemic, historic unrest and an entire world undergoing economic and social challenges that have changed the way we think, the way we operate and the way we move forward. Let me ease some of your concerns. The fact that you have managed all of this and are still pushing through and ready for the wonderful journey journey that comes after today means that you are ready. And I couldn't be prouder to stand here with you today.
I'm a DePaul graduate and hold that... as a badge of honor. Today, you share that badge with me and so many others who will always, always be rooting for you.
In my eyes, DePaul graduates are Chicago's very own. So inscribed upon this scroll are the names of the members of DePaul University's 122nd graduating class, the Class of 2021. We accept these graduates into the DePaul University Alumni Association. Members of the 122nd graduating class, we, the DePaul community of over 195,000 alumni living in all 50 states and around the world welcome you to the next step in your lifelong connection with DePaul as students yesterday, graduates today, and alumni forever.
The continued vitality of DePaul University depends upon each of us as alumni and our pledge of commitment and service to the university. We now invite you, the Class of 2021 to move your tassel from the right to the left, a symbolic gesture of your transformation from a student of DePaul University to a lifelong learner and citizen of the world. So you do it with me right here. Let’s find the tassel. Graduates, go ahead and turn your tassel.
And here we go, there you have it. Congratulations, Class of 2021. Congratulations. Today is your day.
Man, what a crazy year. But you've worked hard, we're proud of you and now you've reached the finish line. Good job. You did it. You persevered through this last year and got through your online classes and we are so proud of you.
It was certainly a challenging year for all of you. but the good news is that you all did it. Your education has certainly been a transformative experience.
Believe me, when I say, it makes you stronger and wiser in the long run. And now it's time to celebrate all of your hard work that led to this important milestone. I so enjoyed hearing about your ideas for the next big thing. And now it's your turn to make them happen.
And I know you're going to move on to great things because DePaul alumni do. When the world gives you lemons, make some lemonade. Continue all of your hard work and your resilience and go out and do great things to make us proud. We're looking forward to seeing all the great things that you accomplish. I am proud to call myself a part of the community of scholars, of dreamers, of achievers, who exemplify what it means to be part of DePaul.
So, hope you all stay connected to DePaul. Make DePaul proud. Be bold, be curious and aim high, like a real blue demon. Look to the future. The best is yet to come.
Congratulations, Class of 2021. Congratulations. Best of luck. Congratulations. Congratulations, Class of 2021.
One of the most important things I've learned from DePaul is that you are born to make a difference. This year when we hear the word graduation, I think for many it's bitter sweet. We're happy to be moving forward and then thinking about all of our experiences we shared at DePaul. DePaul has changed my life for the better.
I've been on the Dean’s list ever since I got here and I cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for this university. The one person I'm most grateful for during my time at DePaul has been my family. So I guess it's more than one person. -Thank you, DePaul. -Thank you, DePaul Athletics, thank you to my family and friends. -Go, Blue Demons. -Go, Blue Demons.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. I’d like to thank both of my kids for all their support while I studied. I want to thank everyone that I met, the opportunity to work with all the professors and staff. Thank you, guys.