Iain Rommel

    • Spring 2015 Convocation Address

      June 1, 2015

      Faculty of Business and Professional Studies

      Iain Rommel“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the trouble makers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things, they push the human race forward. And as some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

      Good morning faculty, family, friends, loved ones, and honorary degree recipients. But most importantly, good morning fellow graduates. I have to say, what a beautiful group of people.

      Upon researching topics for my speech today, I discovered that the providers of our cafeteria food have additional contractual relations with prisons. My point is, for those of us that don’t put our degree to work in the future and end up in jail, at least the food will be familiar.

      I would like to take a moment to talk about misfortune. A joint misfortune rather, that has bound us inseparably. That is the additional cell phone data fees we have all incurred while doing research in the library. I know you know what I am referring to.

      Today we are graduating and it has been a long road to get here. It took some of us 5 years, maybe 6, and others 4. Four years is a long time. Its 48 months, or 209 weeks, or 1461 days, or 35,000 hours. We know it has been a long time committed to our studies because we started to consider McDonalds real food, looking out the window became a form of entertainment, we would rather clean then study, waking up in a bed that wasn’t our own became somewhat normal, and in my case I spent time making lists about how I know I have been in university too long.

      I myself am graduating with a degree in business, specifically international business. And I know many of you are also graduating with degrees in business with many different specializations. But I will tell you this, if you are graduating with a degree in business and had the pleasure of having Lou Villalba as a prof then you should also be receiving a minor in stevia as a natural sweetener. Thanks, Lou.

      Nancy Tran once made the grave mistake of telling me she hates being acknowledged publicly... So I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Nancy for all her help editing our resumes. Thanks, Nancy.

      Jokes aside it has been a great 4 years. We come from all walks of life and have different back-stories. Some of us are here because we wanted to become educated and become employable. Some of us are here because our parents forced us to be, and some of us are here because we didn’t know what else to do after high school and our parents told us we wouldn’t have to pay rent if we went back to school. My point is, later in life when we are unsure of something; don’t be afraid to be afraid. Because with every challenge comes moments like these, where we can look back and say wow, we did it, we made it. And there is nothing better than the feeling of achievement when it is truly earned.

      We survived prison food, 90s Internet, and a strike that put this very day in question.

      For those of us that don’t know, our university was founded by those who wanted, no demanded a university on the North Shore and they succeeded and for that we should be grateful. They were the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the round pegs in the square holes, they were the ones who changed the world and we are their legacy. So go out and be different, be a troublemaker, push the human race forward, change the world and don’t be afraid to be afraid.

      And in the words of a well known rebel: Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
      Thank you very much.