(triumphant brass band music) (“Pomp and Circumstance” by Edward Elgar) (audience applauding) – Good morning – [Audience] Good morning – We gather today to celebrate the graduates from the College of Arts and Letters (audience cheering) (audience applauding) Please stand and join students and faculty in singing one stanza of America the Beautiful, led by Jadrian Tarver, doctoral student of music performance in the College of Music We will be accompanied by the MSU Symphony Band under the direction of Hunter Kopczynski, master’s student in music conducting in the College of Music (“America the Beautiful”) ♪ Oh beautiful for spacious skies ♪ ♪ For amber waves of grain ♪ ♪ For purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain ♪ ♪ America, America ♪ ♪ God shed his grace on thee ♪ ♪ And crown thy good with brotherhood ♪ ♪ From sea to shining sea ♪ (audience applauding) – Please be seated As many of you know, our acting president, Satish Udpa, required medical attending during our all-university commencement ceremony on Friday He was attended by our medical school deans on site and taken to Sparrow Hospital where he was treated, and he is now resting at home Dr. Udpa has been a stabilizing force

and most importantly a healing presence for us here at Michigan State University And so I would ask you now to join me in sending our best thoughts in helping him to heal over the days and weeks to come and wishing him a quick recovery And now it is my pleasure to ask the Honorable Kelly Tebay, member of the MSU Board of Trustees, to greet the graduates and guests (audience applauding) – Thank you, Dean Long On behalf of the MSU Board of Trustees, I welcome all the graduates, families, and friends who are with us at this morning’s undergraduate commencement Under the Michigan Constitution, the Board of Trustees is the governing body of the university, by whose authority degrees are awarded Today’s ceremony represents the culmination of discipline, intellectual work, and creative imagination, certainly no small accomplishment For many of you and your families here today, the sacrifices have been long and great The degree you have earned acknowledges your success and honors those who have encouraged it Our wish is that you will always be leaders who generously use your intelligence and your knowledge to improve the quality of life of your communities, to advance the common good, and to renew hope in the human spirit Our faculty, the administrators, and the MSU trustees are all very proud of you We wish to pay tribute to the graduates who not only completed their academic program successfully, but who have the distinction of having maintained the highest grade point average in the class, a perfect 4.0, thereby meriting the Board of Trustees Award To be eligible for this prestigious award, at least three-fourths of the credits for the degree must be earned in the residence of Michigan State University Will the students who are present please stand and remain standing as your names are called I request that you hold applause until all names are introduced Victoria Adomshick, Spanish, College of Arts and Letters, Microbiology from Lyman Briggs, Honors College Kelsie Donaldson, Professional Writing, Honors College Emily Garchow, Chinese Hayden Harris, Professional Writing Emily Jenkins, Professional Writing, Comparative Cultures and Politics from James Madison, Honors College Sierra Richards, Professional Writing, Advertising, Communications Arts and Sciences, Honors College And Allison Steffen, Apparel and Textile Designs, Honors College (audience applauding) Each of you should be very proud of the outstanding academic record that honors you and our university On behalf of your classmates, the faculty, the officers, and trustees of the university, I extend sincere congratulations and best wishes Please join me again in applause for the Class of 2019 Board of Trustee recipients (audience applauding) Thank you – On behalf of the faculty and staff of the College of Arts and Letters, I welcome all graduates, families, and friends to the commencement ceremony of the Class of 2019 from the College of Arts and Letters and Michigan State University Now the first thing I have to do is take the selfie (audience laughing) (audience cheering) All right, we’ll see how that came out Keeping your hands steady up here on stage is a little difficult sometimes The ceremony we celebrate today is called commencement because it marks a beginning You are embarking on a new path as you leave this beautiful campus and chart a meaningful course for your lives At such moments of beginning, it is fitting to reflect upon the paths that have brought you to this commencement, for we celebrate here today not simply the courses you have taken, but the educational experiences that have prepared you

to make the world a better place At the heart of a liberal arts education is the cultivation of intellectual, creative, and ethical habits that will enable you to live a fulfilling life It is fitting that we will now recognize the winners of our two top awards for students, the Outstanding 2019 Senior Achievement Award and the 2019 Alumni Award for Undergraduate Excellence First, it is my pleasure to present the Outstanding Senior Award This award is given out annually to a student who embodies four hallmark characteristics of an outstanding graduate Service and leadership, personal and professional development, interdisciplinary scholarship and practice, and fourth, a commitment to cross-cultural diversity Please join me in congratulating this year’s winner of the 2019 Outstanding Senior Award, from Experience Architecture and the Honors College, Erin Campbell (audience applauding) (audience laughing) (audience cheering) (audience applauding) The last responsibility of that award is a long walk to the stage (audience laughing) Well worth it indeed Next, it is my pleasure to present the Alumni Award for Undergraduate Excellence This award is given out annually to a student who has been notably engaged and involved in the university and surrounding community throughout their time at MSU This award recognizes and congratulates both academic excellence and a student’s commitment to outreach and engagement Please join me in congratulating this year’s winner of the 2019 Alumni Award for Undergraduate Excellence from the Department of English and the Honors College, Cassie Feith (audience applauding) Are you over here? Congratulations – Thank you Thank you – In recognizing Erin and Cassie, we celebrate the deepest values of the liberal arts education each of you has received Your College of Arts and Letters degree at Michigan State University draws upon the power of varied viewpoints and diverse backgrounds As a group, 300 of you speak 28 different languages, over 100 of you have visited or studied abroad in 30 different countries, and nearly 200 of you have interned in organizations across the world These experiences have provided you with the capacity to think critically, imagine creatively, and respond ethically to the most challenging social and cultural issues we face Your education in the College of Arts and Letters has empowered you to be conscientious and engaged citizen leaders who are capable of working collaboratively with local, national, and global organizations Your degrees have been enhanced by the study and practice of written and artistic expression from diverse traditions and interdisciplinary courses So you are prepared to live in multiple worlds, and you are capable of imagining how to enrich lives and relationships in a wide variety of different contexts For generations, our alumni from the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University have transformed lives through engaged leadership, and I know you will do the same But you must put the values that have shaped your education into practice Only through intentional practice, leadership, and talent mobilize the power

of an MSU liberal arts degree to create a more just and a more beautiful world On behalf of the faculty and staff of the College of Arts and Letters, I wish you the best as you pursue the individual goals you each have for your lives, your families, and your communities But we hope too that you embark upon this new journey, you will remember how your experience here on the banks of the Red Cedar has shaped the person you have become, and that you will return often to mentor and support the next generation of students in the same spirit in which those who have come before you provided the support and encouragement you needed to arrive at this very exciting moment of commencement Thank you (audience applauding) And now I ask Professor Sonja Fritzsche, Associate Dean for Personnel, Administration, and Undergraduate Education in the College, to introduce our guest speaker (audience applauding) – Congratulations, graduates Felicitaciones I am so pleased to be here today to introduce you to our student commencement speaker Cassie Feith Cassie is graduating from Michigan State University’s Honors College and from the College of Arts and Letters with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in Spanish She studied English education in a secondary setting with a focus on global education Cassie has also studied abroad in Ireland, studying fairy tales, and in Germany with a focus on human rights During her time here at MSU, Cassie has received a number of awards Recently, she received first place for her poster presentation entitled Blurring Binaries at the 21st Annual University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, better known as UURAF This work is a collection of visual poetry that brings together critical and creative methodologies to undertake the representation of social justice as well as embodied gender and sexual identity Cassie also received the Alumni Endowed Student Book Scholarship and Robert L. Fiore Student Book Scholarship as a recognition of her academic achievements Cassie has worked as an intern for the Excel Network in the College of Arts and Letters where she helped her peers find experiential learning options, learn about various careers, and network with alumni Through the experiences she has had working with students at MSU and in the classroom she says that she has, quote, “Come to value participatory learning “that situates youth as students “with agency and immense creative abilities,” unquote Her time at MSU and future career plans have driven her interests in building community, promoting the value of critical literacy, and dismantling more traditional hierarchical approaches to teaching Indeed, all of our applicants for student commencement speaker demonstrated this drive and obligation to help others I want to commend each of you, our student applicants, for the courage and leadership you demonstrated in your willingness to accept this task The College of Arts and Letters faculty, staff, and student body are honored by your commitment to and pride in our university After graduation, Feith plans to study this summer in South Africa and Lesotho where she will study the effects of apartheid on education In the fall, she will start a year-long student teaching position, teaching 10th grade English at East Lansing High School Cassie Feith is a compelling representative of our dynamic and engaged student body We are delighted and proud to count her among our graduates She is here today to remind us of the importance of reflection, personal engagement, and the need for forward movement towards change, all challenges that she knows well I invite all of you to join me in welcoming to the podium the College of Arts and Letters 2019 undergraduate student commencement speaker, Cassie Feith

(audience applauding) (audience cheering) – Welcome friends, family, faculty, and of course the graduating class of 2019 My name is Cassie Feith and I would like to start by congratulating all of you on the well-deserved success that is being celebrated here today I would also like to take a moment to thank the English department and the College of Arts and Letters, better known to many of us as CAL, faculty for supporting me in speaking in front of you all Like many of you, I came to Michigan State University in fall of 2015 I am an English major who specializes in secondary education and I was drawn here by our outstanding teaching preparatory program, a campus with enough greenery to make it feel like I was no longer in the suburbs of Chicago, and little oddities that ended up fostering a great love for the state of Michigan Over the past few years, we have found a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, and even that little bit of extra common sense we needed when we first got here What stands out to me the most in reflecting on my time within the college is my discovery of poetry and deepened appreciation for literature It’s hard for me not to talk about poetry when I talk about MSU I’ve been told that we, as a class, are students born in, and learning under, the rising star sign of social justice If CAL has taught us anything, it is that research, community service, and education are all creative endeavors that can be siphoned into activism and advocacy We have been encouraged, by our professors and our peers, to challenge conventions of art, writing, design, teaching, theater, digital media, and thought in order to reshape the arts and humanities in the name of a more humane world Through writing, I have come to realize how important it is that we actively listen, stifling our propensity to insert ourselves, and that we act as witnesses to the injustices around us Our college has taught us how to commit ourselves and our work to social justice It has provided the tools necessary to pair our witnessing with movement While we are students of the College of Arts and Letters, we are first and foremost Spartans I began my Spartan journey in green and white striped overalls at the top of the bleachers of our stadium Since then, we have celebrated the numerous athletic and academic achievements of our university alongside friends and classmates over Dairy Store ice cream and notorious DIY Cedar Village bonfires Whether it is in the shadows of the Beaumont Tower, the best spot in the library, dorm lounges, professors’ offices, or classroom hallways, our campus has offered us all a space for excitement and celebration, exploration and closeness We all know that there are a few things you can’t leave MSU without, an outrageous supply of free T-shirts, at least one parking ticket, and Spartan pride That pride comes from a community that roots for each other and that lends a hand to help others reach their goals Being a Spartan has provided me the greatest network of friends, peers, and faculty that are all rooting for my success The spirit of the College of Arts and Letters invites a development of compassion And, it has reminded us that compassion is not just an orientation to others, but it is also the action that we take A lot of us attend school with the intention of acquiring hard skills, but we don’t think that we come here to cultivate our emotional intelligence One of the hidden curriculums of an education rooted in humanizing its processes through small class sizes, emphasis on exploration, and attentiveness to justice issues is this very compassion As a future educator, I recognize the choices our faculty and professors have made that have challenged us to examine social relations in a new light, even those close to home We are poets, we are readers, actors, artists, and designers We are filmmakers, linguists, philosophers, teachers, writers, and so much more We have acquired the essential skills of a liberal arts education, but what I think we have acquired more than anything else is this drive for compassion And I challenge you to take this with you as you go back to your communities, families, careers, whatever the space may be Dean Long once reminded me that empathy is one of the most powerful forces in breaking down systems of power As we go out to make our mark in our various fields we must remember this It can be challenging, but it is essential in our world right now, as even the events of the past year

here at MSU have clearly demonstrated to us We have experienced the damages of systemic and cultural problems, and what matters now is how we take these lessons going forward in our everyday lives together Drawing on our attuned abilities for reflection and expression, I think it is crucial that we move forward with a collaborative mindset An educator of mine lovingly calls us future agitators We set out to disrupt the natural order of things and ensure equitability Our class of 2019 embodies this Within the confines of the university, we have come together to demand transparency and take a moment to be sources of support for one another We all explore and share expressions of the human experience in our work We know the value of citing emotion and vulnerability We now have the tools to agitate and provide a community capable of productive disruption One of the unique things about our college is that it can feel really small, which, for a Big 10 University, is a large feat Being in Arts and Letters gives us that solid base I am grateful for relationships with professors and familiar faces in my classrooms and dorms I have friends in the crowd to thank for riverside music sessions, Lindsay Lohan movie nights, and numerous study dates that are actually just hanging out and eating copious amounts of snacks Our college has made me feel supported, heard, and known That is because of all of you I am thrilled to be speaking here, representing each of our disciplines, today to share my deep appreciation for everything this group of people has done for me We are in an arena of friends, peers, colleagues We know each other’s names, stories, and work And that is remarkable for such a large institution With that, I would like to thank each of you for contributing so positively and so tenderly to our college and university This space is full of creatives and thinkers that will go out to make a meaningful mark on this world And, as we set out to do just that, we must remember what it means to be a Spartan In the College of Arts and Letters we know that this rooted in participating in a compassionate community So, as we embark on the next portion of our lives as Spartans, I encourage you all to take this compassion with you Congratulations class of 2019 on our outstanding achievements as we embark on our next endeavors, and as always, go green (audience applauding) (audience cheering) – Thank you, Cassie Empathic agitators I like it At this time, chairpersons and directors from the college will introduce the candidates for the baccalaureate degrees in the College of Arts and Letters Trustee Tebay and Ms. Stefanie Pohl, as President of the College of Arts and Letters Alumni Association, will assist me in greeting the candidates As the graduates come forward they will be in alphabetical order by department or degree program Graduates, please return to your seats after your name is read, the token diploma presented, and photos taken Jody Knol and Scott Pohl will read the names of graduates as they receive their diploma, and I’m grateful for their work in this ceremony Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters for Personnel, Administration, and Undergraduate Education, Professor Sonja Fritzsche, will introduce the chairpersons, who will then introduce their degree candidates Dr. Fritzsche, will, however, begin the introduction of graduates in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Humanities Pre-Law (audience applauding) – Will the candidates from Interdisciplinary Humanities and Humanities Pre-Law please come forward? – [Man] Woo! – [Announcer] Madeline Rae Boss, Interdisciplinary Humanities Molly Jane Cummins, Interdisciplinary Humanities

(audience cheering) Kenneth William Hanley, Interdisciplinary Humanities Taylor Leigh Hawley, Interdisciplinary Humanities Selena Huapilla-Perez, Interdisciplinary Humanities (audience cheering) Emily Anne Perry Emily Small, Interdisciplinary Humanities Kellie Tinskey, Interdisciplinary Humanities Claire Elise Wahl, Interdisciplinary Humanities Jemia Williamson, Interdisciplinary Humanities (audience cheering) Jim Wu, Interdisciplinary Humanities Fujiu Xiao, Interdisciplinary Humanities Mary Lynn Zempardo, Experience Architecture Ashley Lorenz Babcock, Humanities Pre-Law Dominique Saponic Ditmore, Humanities Pre-Law Darian Cathlene Jones, Humanities Pre-Law Christian Michael Keathley, Humanities Pre-Law Daniel Jacob Miller, Humanities Pre-Law Coral Emily Muessig, Humanities Pre-Law (audience cheering) – Please welcome Professor Karin Zitzewitz, Chair, Department of Art, Art History and Design (audience applauding) – Will the creative makers and incisive thinkers who are candidates for Art, Art History and Design please come forward – [Announcer] Courtney Bankston, Apparel and Textile Design Dakota Marie Blaszczyk, Apparel and Textiles Cassie Michelle Giles, Apparel and Textiles Katherine Olivia Johnson, Apparel and Textile Design (audience cheering) Dana Marie Konkel, Apparel and Textiles Haley Melissa Kras, Apparel and Textiles Amy Elizabeth Leuenhagen, Apparel and Textile Design Shannon Yingen Low, Apparel and Textile Design Thomas O’Nally Messenger, Apparel and Textiles Sophia John Mackoul, Apparel and Textile Design Paige Madison O’Grady, Apparel and Textile Design Saahithi Rasukonda, Apparel and Textiles Maya Olivia Roberts, Apparel and Textile Design Lauren Maria Rodriguez, Apparel and Textile Design Emma Claire Seiler, Apparel and Textile Design Allison Ann Steffen, Apparel and Textile Design Hannah Rose Turnbull, Apparel and Textile Design Anna Kathryn Killebrew, Art Education Tully Ann Williams, Art Education Liberty Renee Fets, Art History and Visual Culture Brittany Christine Leatherman, Art History and Visual Culture Gabriel Riley Seck, Art History and Visual Culture Lia Rose Umlauf, Art History and Visual Culture Thais Pisa Wenstrom, Art History and Visual Culture Hannah Alexandria Blasz, Graphic Design Alonzo Laquan Claybrook, Graphic Design (audience cheering) Yuying Chen, Graphic Design Brandy L. Dykes, Graphic Design Haley Lorraine Mast, Graphic Design Chensi Yang, Graphic Design Mary Mitchell, Graphic Design Nur Elyna Mahzan, Graphic Design Cassidy Rae Taylor, Graphic Design Reid Isaac Jacobs, Graphic Design RoseMarie Alexis Deneau, Graphic Design Tessa Rose Wegman, Graphic Design Darcy Marie Shank, Graphic Design Christina Marie Dennis, Graphic Design Nikolette Jean Dallich, Graphic Design Victoria Marie Hernandez, Graphic Design Jaren Michael McNamara, Graphic Design Aaron Truman Smith, Graphic Design Peter James Shutt, Studio Art Elvira Naomi Bertrand, Studio Art Mackenzie Page Bogema, Studio Art Candy Bramble, Studio Art

(audience cheering) Dayzee Jane Card, Studio Art Peiyu Chen, Studio Art Xuerong Hu, Studio Art Echo Qinyu Huan, Studio Art Meghan McCall Hollister, Studio Art Mary Margaret Hollstein, Studio Art Christopher Paul Mattei, Graphic Design Patrick Collins Brown, Graphic Design (audience cheering) Marly Ortiz, Studio Art (audience cheering) Richard Aaron Tanner, Studio Art Nicholas A. Werner, Studio Art – Please welcome Professor Cara Cilano, Chair, Department of English (audience applauding) – On behalf of my colleagues in the Department of English and the Film Studies Program, I invite the candidates from English to come forward – [Announcer] Amber Anne Abboud, English (audience applauding) Jade Elizabeth Bennett, English Brooke Allison Bloomfield, English Rachael Ann Daniel, English Caitlin Harrison Brown, English (audience cheering) Laura Kathryn Browne, English Sajjad Sharif Abdul-Aziz, English Alexander Edward Roland Babbitt, English Claudia Judith Caceres, English Daryhl Gregory Covington, English Shannon Margaret Curley, English Sarah Dropsey, English Jacob Christopher Eddy, Film Studies Ariana Summer Eggleston, English Elena Maria Espinoza, English Alexandria Karen Evans, English Cassandra Feith, English (audience cheering) Caitlin Rose Ferber, English Isabella Paige Gallagher, English Kayla Rose Giffel, English Nicholas Philip Goodenow, English Keisha M. Green, English (audience cheering) John Michael Hoodlebrink, English Meagan Nicole Hopkins, English Victoria Marie Hopper, English Muliufi Hill Hunt, English Thomas Andrew Hilton, English Zoe Claire Hutchison, English Zara Elaine Kok, English Makayla Breah Krantz, English Gayle Michelle Murray, English Angela Frances Magbag, English Molly Anne Moline, English Matthew Marshall, English Daniel Joseph O’Neil Jr., English (audience cheering) Emily C. Pille, English Serena Lu Gupta, English Michelle Nicole Ward, English Jacquelyn Rose Olle, English Jeremy Alexander Long, English (audience cheering) Madeline Trinette Peterson, English Nathanael L. Paolasso, English Carson Edward Patten, English Logan Edward Ryan, English Martha Malone Spall, English Jordan Leigh Sickon, English Holly Ann Simon, English Trevor Daniel Stout, English Jared Scott Tasch, English Lauren Amy Tiedje, English Amanda Diane Topper, English Emily Elizabeth Tyler, English Julia Ann Vredenburg, English

Jasmine Irena Abbasov, Film Studies Kacey Cabanban, Film Studies Josh Kazukowski, Film Studies (audience cheering) Eric Walter Williams, Film Studies Thomas Donovan Streed, Film Studies (audience cheering) David Justin Martin, Film Studies N’Kenge A. Robertson, English (audience cheering) – Please welcome Professor Casey McArdle, Director of the Experience Architecture Program (audience cheering) (audience applauding) – Will the candidates for Experience Architecture please come forward – [Announcer] Christy Annatiur, Experience Architecture Bernadette Belcher, Experience Architecture Erin Marie Campbell, Experience Architecture Brock D. Delebreau, Experience Architecture Anna Micaela Lerma Gamelo, Experience Architecture Brian Westbrook Flynn, Experience Architecture (audience cheering) Bailey Kathleen Gates, Experience Architecture Eric David Martin, Experience Architecture Ryan Connelly Lewis, Experience Architecture Taylor Caroline Lynch, Experience Architecture Katie Musial, Experience Architecture Natalia Valeria Obando Alcarcel, Experience Architecture Ariella Rachel Pearlman, Experience Architecture Leonel Rios Jr., Experience Architecture (audience cheering) Jonathan Moris Rozin, Experience Architecture Alexandria Ann Rucker, Experience Architecture Justin Thai Pham, Experience Architecture Ross P. Klimoski, Experience Architecture Andrew Ryan Ng, Experience Architecture Levi Jacob Salmon, Experience Architecture Naomi Wang Jordan Kelly Shelby, Experience Architecture (audience cheering) Katherine Elizabeth Whalen, Experience Architecture – Please welcome Professor Russell Lucas, Director of the Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities Program (audience applauding) – Will the world-traveling candidates for Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities please come forward – [Announcer] Carly Raquel Nesbitt, Global Studies, Arts and Humanities Marilyn Noelle Hecht, Global Studies, Arts and Humanities (audience cheering) – Please welcome Professor Yen-Hwei Lin, Chair, Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages (audience applauding) – Will the candidates for Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages please come forward – [Announcer] Brandon Eugene Parker, Arabic (audience cheering) Miyuki Anne Zerke, Arabic Anna-Terese Losurdo, Russian Ethan Glenn Clarkson, Chinese Asanti Dana Cua, Chinese Emily Louise Garchow, Chinese Chase O’Hara Donaldson, Chinese James Joseph Jurcak IV, Chinese Alan Jursak Edvard T. Tingstad, Chinese Geneva Alewine, German Jacob Brown, German Victoria Lisa Potapenko, German Abigail M. Schmid, German Abigail Xin, German Licia Marie Feuerstein, Japanese

Jason Liu, Japanese Lily Charlotte McCormick, Japanese Jillian Rose Sturtevant, Japanese Isaac Van Dyke, Japanese Zeyang Wu, Japanese Lucy Jean Angers, Linguistics Danielle Denise Brown, Linguistics Natasha Chemey, Linguistics Robert Raymond Felster, Linguistics Darby Morgan Grachek, Linguistics Jayme Lynn Shepard, Linguistics Sarah Rose Sirna, Linguistics Rachel Stacey, Linguistics Emily Claire Skupin, Linguistics (audience cheering) Samantha Marie Woods, Linguistics – Please welcome Professor Matthew McKeon, Chair, Department of Philosophy (audience applauding) – [Man] Yeah, woohoo – Will the candidates for philosophy please come forward – [Announcer] Logan Bradley Cross, Philosophy Chayse Elizabeth Hurley, Philosophy Gabriel Lucas Lozano, Philosophy Namjun Park, Philosophy – Please welcome Professor Arthur Versluis, Chair, Department of Religious Studies (audience applauding) – Will the candidates for Religious Studies please come forward – [Announcer] Caleb J Stenske, Religious Studies (audience cheering) Emily Ann Quinlan, Religious Studies Rachael Taylor Morehouse, Religious Studies (audience cheering) Connor James Storck, Religious Studies Logan Meryl Berg, Religious Studies – Please welcome Professor Tony Grubbs, Chair, Department of Romance and Classical Studies (audience applauding) – Will the multilingual scholars and candidates for Romance and Classical Studies please come forward – [Announcer] Samantha Rose Fegan, French Jessica Danielle Steinort, French Paige Sidney Ward, French (audience cheering) Kellen Michael Harris, French (audience cheering) Sidney Joseph Hallem, Spanish Danielle Kathryn Connery, Spanish Holly Kristena Chapin, Spanish Margaret Elizabeth Tucker, Spanish Iyana Jemece Williams, Spanish (audience cheering) Miranda Elizabeth Madden, Spanish Adriana Elaine Ball, Spanish Victoria Joy Adomshick, Spanish Kristin Marie McConnell, Spanish Allison Marie Irwin, Spanish Anna Grace Bulkowski, Spanish Kayla Mohammed Ahmed, Spanish Muthu Chathupama Jayatissa, Spanish Alaijah Nakia Bashi, Spanish (audience cheering) Abigail Muriel Shaw, Spanish Grace Elizabeth Flynn, Spanish – Please welcome Professor Kirk Domer, Chair, Department of Theatre (audience cheering) (audience applauding) – Will the amazing candidates from the Department of Theatre please come forward – [Announcer] Yes, that is theatre David Eugene Bauer III, Theatre Molly Kathrine Bennett, Theatre Anna Jean Birmingham, Theatre Shane Alexander Bruno, Theatre Grant Sawyer Cleaveland, Theatre

(audience cheering) Janette Flores, Theatre Peter James Florian, Theatre (audience cheering) Joseph Harris, Theatre Beth Anne Hendrickson, Theatre Evan Henry Houdek, Theatre Raied Daoud Jawhari, Theatre Elise A. Jorgensen, Theatre Joseph Patrick Lancour, Theatre Madison Virginia Moylan, Theatre Castille Anna Neary, Theatre Daniel James Shafer, Theatre Camille Simone Thomas, Theatre (audience cheering) James Russell Thomason, Theatre Lucy Jane Wagenaar, Theatre Sara McKinley Weldon, Theatre – Please welcome Professor Stephanie Nawyn, Co-Director, the Center for Gender in the Global Context in International Studies and Program (audience applauding) – I really hate following Professor Domer It is my honor to invite the candidates for Women and Gender Studies Please come forward And if you want to do a handshake, fist bump, hug, whatever you consent to, I’ll give it to you, okay? – [Announcer] Victoria Chapman, Women’s Studies (audience cheering) Alannah Rajene Henry, Women and Gender Studies Rachel Marie Sirna, Women and Gender Studies Madeline Adaire Van Eck, Women’s and Gender Studies Sydney Winter, Women’s and Gender Studies – Please welcome Professor Jacqueline Rhodes, Chair, Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (audience applauding) – On behalf of the talented and wonderful faculty of the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures I would like to welcome the amazing, talented and critical scholars to come forward for the candidacy for Degree of Professional Writing – [Announcer] Yesenia Andrea Barrera, Professional Writing (audience cheering) Charlotte Marie Beers, Professional Writing Casey Anne Boland, Professional Writing Gemma Darr, Professional Writing (audience cheering) Kelsie Lynn Donaldson, Professional Writing Andrea Sue Mackey, Professional Writing Kennedi Dominique Jourdin-Ann Lurry, Professional Writing Emma Huson Heikkinen, Professional Writing Hayden Scott Harris, Professional Writing Bridget Elizabeth Hanchek, Professional Writing Emily Anne Jenkins, Professional Writing Alexia L. Kienitz, Professional Writing Ean James Montague, Professional Writing Margarit Elizabeth Morgan, Professional Writing Claire Whitmore Palmer, Professional Writing (audience cheering) Breana Lyn Rich, English and Professional Writing Michelle Alexandria Reid, Professional Writing Elise Felpashe St. John, Professional Writing Timothy Scott Snyder, Professional Writing Melissa Sefernick Sydney Elizabeth Landon, Professional Writing (audience cheering) Madison Marie Simmers, Professional Writing Sean A. Vichinsky, Professional Writing (audience cheering) Michael Arthur Wagner, Professional Writing – [Man] Yeah Michael

(audience cheering) – Now I will ask the candidates to please stand (audience applauding) (audience cheering) On behalf of Michigan State University Acting President Satish Udpa, who has been delegated the authority of the State of Michigan vested in the Board of Trustees, I confer upon all of you the degrees for which you have been recommended with all the rights and distinction to which they entitle you According to custom, you may now move your tassels from the right of your caps to the left (audience cheering) Congratulations MSU Alumni (audience cheering) (audience applauding) Graduates, you may be seated This act represents a great achievement and marks the beginning of a lifetime of dedicated service to the world This morning we celebrate and recognize over 300 individuals, you have completed an academic program in the College of Arts and Letters I would now like to thank the staff of the College of Arts and Letters from various units across the campus, including those here at the Breslin Center A lot of planning and coordination goes into this event, and their work is much appreciated Please give them a round of applause (audience applauding) Michigan State University has a world-class faculty In the College of Arts and Letters we are especially proud of the international reputations our faculty have as artists and scholars and their dedication as teachers In the future, almost every one of you graduating here will pause for a moment in what will surely be very busy and productive lives to reflect upon those teachers who took a special interest in you, who made you think a little differently, or introduced you to an idea that shifted your view of things and altered the course of your life I ask that the representatives of the faculty rise so that we may express to them our gratitude for the exceptional contributions they and their colleagues have made to the college and to the individuals in this graduating class Please rise (audience applauding) Thank you And, finally, we gratefully pay tribute to other individuals who have contributed their love, their understanding, their support, their resources to help make this celebration possible I refer to the good friends and the family members of the graduates, the parents and grandparents, partners and spouses, children, siblings and cousins Will they please rise and give us an opportunity to express our thanks and appreciation? (audience applauding) I now ask Ms. Stefanie Pohl, President of the College

of Arts and Letters Alumni Association, to step forward and greet the graduates (audience applauding) – Ooh, hot mic Graduates, family and friends, faculty and staff of the College of Arts and Letters and Michigan State University, thank you for having me To be honest, I never thought I would be speaking at a graduation ceremony Certainly not in high school or college, and 100% not in the Breslin Center But while I never expected to end up in this position, I do believe I was always destined to be a Spartan See, my great grandmother Marion and her family came from Sparta in Greece Her dad? He’s actually the one who said “This is Sparta!” (audience laughing) Not really But it would have been really cool if he did We are all Spartans, but what does that really mean? This April, MSU students were invited to answer that question, what one word defines you as a Spartan? When I first saw it, I was having a really hard time coming up with my own answer True to my English major self, I prefer using lots of words But in considering my remarks for today, the answer become clear The one word that defines me as a Spartan is thankful I am thankful to be a Spartan I am thankful to be an alumna of the College of Arts and Letters, a place where I didn’t start my MSU journey but became my home base I am thankful for study abroad in London, poetry workshops in Berkey, and that I was randomly assigned to Holmes Hall my freshman year where I would meet my future husband, a fellow CAL student, surrounded by pre-meds (audience laughing) I realize now that I have never expressed my gratitude to the professors and advisors whose advice I have carried with me in the 12 years since I graduated After today, whose guidance will you carry with you? If I asked you about the people at MSU who changed your life in some way, I bet you could picture their faces right now Maybe they wrote you a letter of recommendation, or helped you fall in love with a genre, or pushed you to be better Maybe they’re in this room Maybe they’re not But let’s take this moment to acknowledge them Let’s say thank you Let’s fill this room with their names, a chorus of gratitude, if you will I’d like for all of us to shout their names out loud together Can we try it, please? (laughs) Take a second and think of someone you’d like to thank Come on, students Ready, ready? One, two, promise to not leave me hanging? Three Courtney, Ruth, and Diane (students shouting) Thank you, nice There is power in the things, places, and people we’re thankful for So in these recent troubled times, when it has been difficult to stand proudly as a Spartan alumna, I need to acknowledge that I have become infinitely thankful for you, the students As a member of the College of Arts and Letters Alumni Board the past five years, I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you, in your classrooms or at networking events I am so inspired by your stories One of you is heading to California to pursue storyboarding for animation One of you worked full-time at a grocery store while getting your degree Many of you have successfully taught me that Experience Architecture has nothing to do with buildings and blueprints (audience cheering) Where’s my XAs? Your talents, drive, and creativity have been the brightness in a dark time Thank you for that You are writing a new chapter in this narrative I can’t wait to see all of the ways you will represent MSU as you make your mark on the world There are many words that define you as Spartans, but today I’m going to add one more, alumni Congratulations, Class of 2019 Thank you (audience cheering) (audience applauding) – We shall now conclude the ceremony by standing to sing the first stanza of the Alma Mater, MSU Shadows, that you will find in your program on page nine (brass band music)

♪ MSU, we love thy shadows when twilight silence falls ♪ ♪ Flushing deep and softly paling ♪ ♪ O’er ivy-covered halls ♪ ♪ Beneath the pines we’ll gather to give our faith so true ♪ ♪ Sing our love for Alma Mater and thy praises, MSU ♪ (audience applauding) – Now we ask our guests to remain in place until the platform party and faculty have recessed Thank you and congratulations (audience cheering) (upbeat brass band music) (“Pomp and Circumstance” by Edward Elgar) (“Falcone Fight”) ♪ Go right through for MSU ♪ ♪ Watch the points keep growing ♪ ♪ Spartan teams are bound to win ♪ ♪ They’re fighting with a vim ♪ ♪ Rah, rah, rah ♪ ♪ See their team is weakening ♪ ♪ We’re going to win this game ♪ ♪ Fight, fight, rah, team, fight ♪ ♪ Victory for MSU ♪ (audience cheering) (audience cheering) (audience applauding) – [Announcer] Parents and families, meet your graduates outside Southwest Harrison Gate near the parking lots (crowd talking) Parents and families, meet your graduates outside Southwest Harrison Gate