Salem graduates urged to spark change

Salem graduates urged to spark change
May 25
04:00 2017

As she stood before the Salem College graduating class of 2017on May 20, as they waited eagerly to receive their degrees inside the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum last Saturday morning, Susan Goldberg, the editor of National Geographic, encouraged students to be disruptive, and spark massive change on their journey through life.

“We are in the middle of the most exciting, terrifying, energizing, and transformative time since the Industrial Revolution but this is not a cause for alarm but celebration,” she continued. “You are the luckiest people on this planet because on the other side of all this trouble is the world of possibility.

“You are starting your careers mid-stream in a disruption that’s transforming technology, economies, and social norms across the world,” Goldberg said.

Before becoming the first women editor of National Geographic magazine, Goldberg served as managing editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. She also worked as executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News, and as a reporter at the Detroit Free Press. When looking back on her own college experience, Goldberg said, she found she followed her desire to spark change when she made the decision to drop out and follow her dream of a becoming news reporter. Terrified to tell her father about her decision, Goldberg told the students she was shocked when he encouraged her to follow her heart.

“That was my father’s gift to me,” she continued. “This invaluable gift of not just his permission but his endorsement gave me confidence, clarity, and purpose to send me on my path. Some people look for that path all their lives.”

Before the 245 graduates set off on their own paths of greatness, causing change and disruption on the way, several graduates took a moment to bask in the glory of the moment. While some students took the traditional route to graduation day, others like April Davis, a mother of four, took a detour that included balancing a full-time job, and night classes.

The mother and daughter duo of Jennifer Foster and Lauren Plemmons walked across the stage together. 

Fittingly during her welcome, Student Government Association President Misbah Tariq Khan reminded her fellow classmates that it’s not about the journey but the destination.

“As you walk across the stage, take a moment to consider who you were when you first came here and where you are today. Regardless if this has taken you four or five years, you have worked hard, learned, and grown to be here today. You deserve this and no one can take this away from you.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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