Duo delivers Poole Student Commencement Address

Submitted by Anna Rzewnicki on Monday May 12, 2014.

It is a Poole College tradition to have a graduating member of one of the college’s bachelor’s degree programs deliver a student commencement address. This year, though, two members delivered the address, in a well-coordinated presentation.

The 2014 commencement speakers were Amy Elizabeth Bero, originally from Bedford, Mass., and majoring in business administration, and Kenneth Ryan Hylton, from Jacksonville, N.C. Both graduated with bachelor’s degrees in business administration. Their remarks follow.

"Thank you Dean Weiss.

"Class of 2014 ... congratulations. We made it! For most of us this was a four-year journey; for others it may have been two or even seven years (no judgment here) but here we all are.
Jimmy V said it best: ‘Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”

"We have stood by his advice. We survived and now we advance. Today we are college graduates, but more importantly we are the North Carolina State University Poole College of Management class of 2014!

"Think back to your high school graduation….crazy how long ago that seems right? We were on cloud nine. Excited to come join the Wolfpack family here at NC State. We joined as many Facebook groups as possible in hopes of meeting that new best friend, or making sure our random roommate wasn’t totally strange. We arrived on campus ready to move into our new home – that small dorm room which we thought was the coolest thing. And finally, that bittersweet moment when we watched our parents leave in tears (I love you, Mom) … it finally resonated that our journey had begun.

"It was at Wolfpack Welcome Week where we realized that coming to NC State was going to be an unforgettable experience. Awaiting us were so many endless traditions that we were dying to complete. We have gone to how many events? … just to get a free t-shirt or spent endless hours in the book stacks of D.H. Hill and spent our last dollar for a box of five pokey sticks.

"We all remember those late night trips to the Creamery, which then became trips to Cook Out, and are now trips downtown. We will never forget the early morning tailgates (with Bojangles in hand), which led to losing our voices at Carter Finley cheering on the Wolfpack, and finally seeing the bell tower lit red after a Wolfpack win. Let us not forget what happened this past year alone. Everything from the ‘snowpocalypse,’ the numerous cardiacpack games, to purchasing your cap and gown. This year has definitely been one for the books.

"However you made your mark at NC State, you have also made it in the Poole College of Management. Nelson Hall is truly our home on this campus. All of the hard work, countless all-nighters, and espresso shots have put you in your chairs today. We have survived the early Friday mornings in M100 (without cell phones), listening to endless debit and credit monologues in accounting lectures, and the bipolar weather in 3400. Most importantly we survived the infamous case of senioritis, a disease for which no cure has been discovered (other than graduation).

"But in all seriousness, from day one the Poole College of Management has played a crucial role in all of our successes. Successes that are different for each of us. But all of those experiences relate back to Dean Davis’ 3 I’s – Internship, International Experience, & Involvement ... ring a bell? She shared these with us at Make-A-Date, orientation and M100, giving us an outline for how to succeed in college. It’s hard to take any of that seriously as a freshman when your main concern was when the first football game was or how you were going to find your first class, but Dean Davis’ advice definitely rang true.

"However you found your specific niche in Poole, it most likely related back to the 3 I’s. We all had that friend who studied abroad multiple times across the globe, that person who always had the killer internship, or the friend that was always too busy to hang out with because they were so involved.

"We’ve broadened our experiences to find what we love and what we want to pursue. At first it may have been just to add substance to our resume – come on, we are business majors after all – but as we approached the end of our senior year we realized what an impact all of those unique experiences had in our time here and how they allowed us to truly find ourselves.

"As we venture off into the real world, do not let the many life lessons we learned at this great university go to waste. It’s not about what you learned in ENG 101 or your freshmen calculus class, it’s the experiences that have changed you from an adolescent to an adult. It’s a combination of the relationships we’ve developed, the hardships we have encountered, and trying our hardest to figure out how to be on our own.

"We leave NC State as adults, ready to go out after our dreams and find careers that Poole has enabled us to obtain. The deans, the professors, the advisors and the staff within Poole go above and beyond to make sure that students coming in and out of Nelson grow to succeed. They helped us figure out what we want to do, how to turn our degree into a career … and we greatly thank them for that.

"While it’s easy to think we achieved all of our successes by ourselves, we wouldn’t have made it here without our number one fans. Can we get a round of applause for all of our families?
Not only helping us discover that NC State was the perfect fit, but they also were there for so much more. Those weekends they would come to visit and save you from one meal at the dining hall, the words of encouragement from that late night call when you bombed your first exam, or the countless loads of laundry they would do while you were home for the weekend.

"More than anything else you helped us to get where we are now.

"One of the hardest parts of graduating will be not seeing oh so familiar faces in PCJ or in the hallways of Nelson every day. However, carrying these friendships with us for the rest of our lives is the one of the greatest parts of graduating. Throughout our college career we made numerous lasting relationships, and I guarantee that many of them are with people sitting in this arena right now (I got my best friend right here). Poole has truly become a home for us during our college careers and we have become family.

"Even though we will be going on separate paths in life, we will always share the bond of being the Poole College of Management class of 2014. This bond will keep us connected for a lifetime. No matter where our individual journeys may takes us, never forget your home here in the land of the pine … “where the winds of Dixie softly blow…” The place where we truly found ourselves and the place that contains all of the great memories that we have made along the way.

"Cheers to you, Class of 2014 ... we made it!"


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