Delivered amongst a full house in the Skagit Valley College Gymnasium with some folks even trickling out the door:
Hello Graduating SVC Students, Families and; Friends. My name is Tyler Murphy, and I served as the Vice-President on the Mt. Vernon Campus this past year. It truly is an honor to be among the Board of Trustees, Graduating Students, families and friends, and our wonderful faculty and administration as we celebrate your success.
I’d like to begin by congratulating everyone this afternoon. You’ve all come a long way in your academic and personal achievements. Secondly, Family and friends, I’d like to congratulate you as well for providing the inspiration and support for today's graduating students.
As I reflect on my life since starting Skagit Valley College, I have to admit that I fell into Student Government by accident; I was minutes away from not turning in the necessary application to run in the elections, in large part because I was afraid of rejection and disappointment that could follow. Now a year later, doors have opened that I didn’t think ever existed, and I find myself with opportunities I could only have imagined.
I say this to encourage you to take chances, don’t be afraid, and stare down your personal demons. Don’t compromise yourself; you deserve nothing less than your dreams. Never be afraid to take risks, Remember if you lose it all, and have nothing, you have nothing to lose. To echo the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, “I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: to reach the port of heaven, we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor”
I hope that as you reflect on your time at Skagit, you will recognize the various obstacles you’ve overcome, and the personal achievements you’ve obtained. Many faces in this room are ready to face the "real world", I wish all of you my best. To those transferring to another institution of higher learning, don’t give up. To those who are here teaching, well, *Pause* good luck. As I look around the room, I am amazed at the turnout as we celebrate the success of our students. I’d like to thank you SVC for the opportunity to serve as your Vice-President. I hope that Skagit Valley College becomes a Stepping Stone to propel you into your future, and where ever life may take you Class of 2010, I wish you nothing but the best! Thank You!
My grandma came over tonight to drop off pictures she found of my first train ride. She went to visit my Great Uncle Stax earlier today, and somehow in the midst of the conversation Stax told her that an older gentleman was speaking highly of "tall, young good looking boy by the name of Tyler" and gave a "wonderful, and impressive speech." My Grandma told Stax I gave a speech at Skagit, to which Stax replied, "I knew it was Tyler" Small world.