MSU grad reflects on time at MSU with the Class of 2021
CANR Outstanding Student Leadership nominee, Holly Pummell, shares how goals and collective experiences helped shape her learning and Spartan journey while at Michigan State University.
Good morning to family, friends, faculty and fellow graduating Spartans.
My name is Holly Pummell, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be a speaker at our commencement. Back in January, I was skeptical if we would walk across this stage, but here we are all together. Anyone else feel anxious? I never imagined that the Class of 2021 would finish their bachelor’s degrees during a global pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the college experience immensely, and that cannot be forgotten. Can you imagine asking a college student at a bar, tailgate or any event to socially distance before the pandemic? I cannot prior to March 2020.
MSU students have been learning, socializing and working remotely for the last year. While this online environment has not been easy, we have shown our resilience. Our administrators, faculty and staff have recognized the hardships of COVID-19, and have worked tirelessly to provide a positive Spartan experience. I am proud to be a Spartan during these times.
MSU has created resources to contact trace COVID-19 in our campus community, provide facilities for testing and vaccinations, and more. Thank you to all the essential workers in our community that have gone above and beyond. We could not have gotten through this time without you.
It is a surreal moment to recognize the closure of a chapter in life. Time is warped in college. One moment you are at freshmen orientation, and the next, you are applying to graduate. The time is not wasted. College is the chance to grow as an individual, create lifelong friendships and find your niche in the world. While I cannot share each of our Spartan journeys, I stand here celebrating you all for working hard to get to this moment in life. I hope you all take a moment to relish your accomplishments and share them with your support system.
"College is the chance to grow as an individual, create lifelong friendships and find your niche in the world." Holly Pummell, MSU Environmental Economics and Management Graduate
For me, I cannot express enough appreciation for my family, friends and the faculty and staff who invested their time in me. The last four years have been a whirlwind. I have grown so much as an individual in my personal, academic and professional life.
Back in my freshman year of college, I set goals I wanted to achieve before the end of my undergraduate career. They were:
- Be involved in fulfilling communities.
- Complete a meaningful internship.
- Work alongside a faculty member who inspired me.
- Learn from cultures different than my own through education abroad.
- Be a member of the Izzone.
While these were my goals, I hope you also achieved your own goals.
A quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that comes to mind when thinking about the graduating class is, "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’”
The graduating class of 2021 is resilient. We have completed our college education during a global pandemic, social unrest and a chaotic presidential election. I would say we are well equipped to adapt and thrive in the real world because, Spartans Will.
Thank you, and Go Green!