Our Future-Cogswell’s 2011 Commencement Speech

It’s a spectacular moment when you know that your college rocks after finding out that a White House worker will be speaking at the present graduating class graduation. It’s even more so when said worker is very informative about the industry that most of the graduating students are going into and a witty sense of humor to boot!

On May 14th of this year we had our Commencement ceremony for our 2011 graduating class here at Cogswell where I and many of the faculty and staff helped out to make it a memorable experience for the students. One of those moments that stood out even from the plates upon plates of dessert Hors D’oeuvres at the end of the ceremony was the address that was given by Mr. Doug Rand, a worker in the Startup America Initiative headed by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.  A veteran in his field and considered a true Entrepreneur, he spoke to my fellow peers as a soon to be equals joining the workforce of the 21st century. First by thanking our current school president Chet Haskell and then giving thumbs up to Henry Cogswell’s career choices he moved into speaking a bit about his own projects currently and how they relate and how they are going to be helping the future of all young individuals coming out of college. The Startup America Initiative he mentioned throughout the speech really captured the essence of what our U.S. government wants to do with the direction of America and made me eager to be a part of the shifts he spoke of. Not only was his project meant to give jobs to many more unemployed Americans and future workers but the ultimate goal was to help entrepreneurs of the future guide the business industry with opportunities to take their new ideas and give them the proper tools to prosper and grow so the demand for more workers would be on the rise once again. This was a very high point in his speech not only for the students, parents and faculty but for me as well. Just finishing my first year in college has opened my eyes to the hardships of adult life and the ever-growing fact that finding a job would be incredibly difficult which scared me to death. But after listening to the things that President Obama was doing to get Startup America off the ground, my confidence in finding a stable job in the future stabilized. Not that I could tell from standing a basketball lengths away from the students but it was pretty obvious that if his words could calm my nerves it was doing something for them as well. Many of the graduates I had learned from and spent time with shared their fears of finding jobs in the many industries we at Cogswell study so hard for so I had a pretty good idea of what most, if not all the graduates were feeling on terms of getting a job after that day which the feeling had rubbed off on me a bit. Even if their fears were simmering more than mine, Doug’s words had to have eased some of their minds.

Doug continued his speech on the greatness of entrepreneurship, what it could do for us as digital art students, and ending with advice that can be summed up in an acronym: “GTP”: Be good, Be Tireless, and Be Patient. These words were all spoken to him in a way by his grandmother and he continued her teachings through us Cogswellians. In his conclusion he sent off the students with assurance that the graduates place in life will be for their bettering and the world’s bettering when they found their careers so there was no point in questioning how things could be different and just bend the future the way that they saw fit.  With one final congratulation to the class and a thank you for the accomplishments they would make, he sent the students of Cogswell 2011 off smoothly.

For me to be there and not even be a part of the graduating class but still pull from all the things he has said really tells a lot about where all the youth of today is being prepared for. Some say that the generation of tomorrow will destroy all that the older generations have built, but Doug seems to think that we are not destroying. Instead he thinks that we are restructuring what will be the foundation of the hopeful tomorrow. If that is true then I couldn’t be more motivated in my studies. Now if only I could get my blogs in on time!

Till next update! -Davain

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