Academy Journal Volume 58 - Page 30

the academy journal Commencement Address Delivered by Leann Hill W elcome, all! Bishop Keith, Principals Schadegg and Irwin, faculty, family and friends, and graduates. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone at ANC, including donors who made it possible for my kids to attend this fine institution. Their time here has put them all in great standing to be their best selves in life. Gerry and I are eternally grateful. Thank you. Today I am lucky enough to have been invit- ed to address both the parents and then the 2017 graduating class of awesomeness. Fellow parents. Today we stand together, proud of all of our kids and their many accomplishments. Good for them, but I want to take a minute to say good for us too – the parents! We took our job se- riously! We attended years of events during their elementary school career: class trips, feasts, plays, concerts. We walked the halls and oohed and aa- hed at their artwork. We ensured that homework was done, clothes were clean and backpacks were filled with notebooks, above mentioned home- work and healthy food. Then, four years ago we watched as our gangly teens entered high school and with our hearts in our mouths, we let them go. Although we still felt that of course, they need- ed us at every turn, we stood back, knowing that we had given them roots and trusting that it was time for them to spread their wings. Knowing that only by practicing independence, could they gain it. We might still have been wringing our hands in worry about what lay ahead for them but we stopped micromanaging them and guess what? We watched as our offspring took the baton we had handed them and soar! It wasn’t always easy watching them navigate life and its challenges, but as hard as it was to pull back and let them practice for college and adulthood, we did it…. and they did it! Look before you and see this bunch of well adjusted, capable and self-assured human beings and give yourselves, parents, a round of applause! Graduating seniors, congratulations on this milestone accomplishment. Soon you will be leaving home and heading out to your respective colleges, gap years or employment opportunities. Soon you will get to be fully in charge of your lives. Yikes. No one will be there to wake you up, do your laundry or make sure you are doing the things required of you. That is what you’ve been practicing these last four years. Practicing your independence. It’s a powerful position you will be in, when you know that you are making decisions that will affect the rest of your life. These decisions include the small ones like getting up and going to class, doing the required work, being a part of your new community and broadening your horizons. But they will also involve other bigger decisions, like who you associate with, what your social lives look like, how much you party and what you par- take in. I just referred to you as a bunch of well adjusted, capable and self-assured human beings – You are those things! They weren’t just random adjectives I used to describe you. You are brave and strong and full of purpose and potential. Re- member that and make us and yourselves proud. Choose your friends wisely. They will be the people who will be your support, your tribe. They will either help and encourage you to be the best version of yourself and to succeed Or they will drag you down pathways that will end up causing you stress and pain. I wish for all of you, a tribe of supporters who will elevate you and cheer you on to succeed, encourage you to try new things and to take full advantage of the opportunities that will be available to you. I also hope that you will be that kind of supporter for the people in your lives. On the subject of choices, one day when this life’s journey is done, most of us would like to hear the reassuring words “ Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many”. Each day as you make your life choices, remember that those choices will, in the end, define who you are, and what you will become, so if there is one thing that you can take away from today, I would ask you to be careful and mindful of your choices. I hope for all of you, a life that is easy breezy. I would, however, be remiss in not saying, that sadly, most of you won’t get to sail through life. There will be challenges. I hope in the face of some 30