Commencement Address from Senior Class President

Delivered by Melissa Su '24.

President Zaki, faculty, staff, and the unique class of 2024, thank you all for being here. If you had told me four years ago of all the highs and lows of college, of all the immense knowledge we would gain, I definitely would have said that you were crazy! Considering the impact of COVID on our years here, it’s safe to say we have gone through an unconventional experience at Bowdoin. But despite what some would call odd socialization, what stands out to me are the many communities our class has managed to impact and craft.

I’d like you all to reflect on your first experiences on campus. I remember being dropped off at Osher Hall by my mom, dad, and brother, lugging in two big suitcases, and waving goodbye to them through a glass window. I remember eating dinner alone in my Osher double that first night. But don’t be fooled! It wasn’t all so bad! I also remember going on a walk with Clara Jergins, the person who would end up being my roommate and best friend for the next three years. And I remember sitting in my FYWS, taught by Professor Morrison, surrounded by incredibly smart individuals, where my interest in religious studies was first sparked. Class of 2024, my point here is that, although our years here have been fraught with moments of isolation, we have still managed to make a formative impact on campus and have created communities to last a lifetime.

I hope you will all look back not just on your experiences here at Bowdoin, but on experiences in every community you have been a part of, appreciating everyone who has helped you get to where you are today. Lisa and Ba, my lovely parents, both refugees from Vietnam that came to America with nothing, I attribute my success to you both. My classmates, who have been inspiring leaders, artists, athletes, advocates, and intellectuals, I attribute my success to you also. And alumni, the group which we are about to join, who have given many of us guidance, and who have quietly contributed to and cheered on all of our accomplishments here, I attribute my success to you all. As we move forward, it is imperative that we remember these groups and their wonderful contributions to our personal growth. Moving on to our next stages in life, I hope we can all recognize that same lasting impact we could have on those who come after us.

Bowdoin is certainly known for its ability to create tight-knit communities, and our class is remarkable evidence of that.

Class of 2024, thank you all for joining me on this journey and for contributing to such a wonderful community. Congratulations to us all.