Alison Hamm

    • Alison HammGood afternoon, grads of 2013, friends and family.

      I remember sitting in those stands on the morning of my new student orientation feeling nervous but also excited to start a new chapter in my life. Well, here I am again today - this time with the grad class of 2013, once more feeling nervous yet also excited about our future.

      I am honoured to be one of six students in the first graduating class to receive Capilano’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies. This innovative degree program allowed me to explore many disciplines and draw connections between them, giving me a truly holistic education. Part of the program’s degree requirements is a graduating project. This project allows students to focus in on a topic they feel passionate about. For my graduating project I had the opportunity to work closely with four instructors spanning three different Faculties, all of which, in fact, are represented here at this ceremony.

      This collaboration between instructor and student at Capilano University has given me a dynamic education. Today I want to thank both faculty and my peers for contributing to the unique experience Capilano University has offered.

      First I want to acknowledge the instructors. I think I speak on behalf of my whole graduating class when I say that you are the heart and soul of Capilano University. I have had the absolute pleasure to be in classes with instructors who exude passion for the subjects they teach. In my experience, instructors here at Capilano are dedicated to, and truly care about the success of their students. Our education was enriched because of instructors who are open to sustained dialogue, student-teacher collaboration and personalized curriculum.

      Secondly, I want to acknowledge all of my peers. My time at Capilano wouldn’t have been the same if I had not been surrounded by thoughtful, engaged and critical thinkers. The students here this afternoon span three different Faculties, including Arts and Sciences, Global and Community Studies, and Education, Health and Human Development. Although we are a diverse group of students, representing different programs and Faculties, I think it is safe to say we all gained new perspectives and shared some laughs thanks to our fellow classmates. I’m sure we all had times when we felt like our brains might explode if we had to study for one more test, or write one more essay. Our hard work has finally paid off. Today we can all breathe a well-deserved sigh of relief.

      The instructors and students at Capilano have challenged my thoughts and ways of knowing. I have grown so much since that first day at new student orientation. I now feel prepared to move forward. All of us graduating here today will take with us pieces of knowledge to draw on in our futures.

      To quote the innovative thinker Albert Einstein, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

      Grads of 2013, let us go forward confidently with the knowledge we’ve gained here at Capilano. Let’s be bold, take risks, embrace opportunity and never fear to dream big. Our time for learning has not come to an end. I hope we will be a generation that never stops asking questions and challenging so-called conventional wisdom. We can strive for a better world by seeking improvement and broadening our horizons. Continue learning, continue to be curious.

      To the Capilano University graduates of 2013, I wish you all the best of luck in your future. Congratulations!