So Lin Jee '13, Student Government Association president
Good morning President Pasquerella, distinguished professors, wonderful staff, fellow classmates, and of course, the family and friends of Mount Holyoke. My name is So Jin Lee and I am honored to stand before you as your Student Government Association President for the academic year. It warms my heart to be back and see all the familiar faces and the new faces on campus. It only seems natural to recognize the different groups of students represented here today. So without a further a due, let’s give a big round of applause for the Class of 2016! Welcome – you are in for one spectacular ride. Welcome back Class of 2015! A big round of applause for the Class of 2014! And of course, my very own class, Class of 2013! Welcome back, seniors! Let’s show the Mount Holyoke community our green griffin spirit throughout the year – though it really surprises me that each year, I see even more creative outfits for convocation than the year before. And as Mount Holyoke would not be the same without the next group of students on campus, let’s give a big round of applause for our Frances Perkins students! And though the next group of students may have been recognized by their class year, I would like to invite everyone to give a big welcome to all the transfer students, foreign exchange students, and foreign fellows.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know if I can get right back into study mode after enjoying the summer sun for four months and doing some major London Olympics “groupie” work on the sideline. I think what had me so hooked about the Olympics all summer was its similarities to Mount Holyoke. When I saw the spirited, cheerful crowds and the sense of community the Olympic games brought out of everyone – it reminded me of South Hadley, Mount Holyoke, Jorge in the Lower Lake, and our teams on the athletic fields and barn. The Olympic athletes’ spirits calling for giving one’s best, striving for personal excellence and satisfaction are clear results of four years of constant practice, effort, and diligence – with lots of help and encouragement from their mentors and peers along the way. Sounds a lot like our four years at Mount Holyoke, huh?
This healthy life filled with self-development, friends, and mentors can easily be transcribed to many undergraduate students’ lives at various institutions. However, I believe Mount Holyoke offers additional benefits – an atmosphere where we are encouraged to become global citizens and where we are given the opportunity to practice self-governance. I am not just talking about our Student Government Association, which you should all check out anyway, but also the act of participating in our privileged tradition of the Honor Code, being held accountable by yourself and your peers, respecting others, and taking on leadership positions and roles in your class, your organization, your team, and pretty much any where on campus.
Dear Mount Holyoke community, you must all have a really large brain, you must not be listening to me right now. I just went on and on about the sense of community, accountability, diversity, academic excellence, sportsmanship, and everything else spectacular that Mount Holyoke has to offer – and you are probably reminded of these very things at least once every week. And each time, your mind probably shuts itself down thinking about the all these aspects of your journey here at this very, very special institution. Students, at least we have it the shortest for four years, staff, it’s really up to however long you can handle it, and professors, well you are all really here forever. But no matter how crazy, hectic, and intertwined our lives will become over the course of the year, I look forward to running in to you all, meeting you in person, and venting together – because I know that there is this special dynamic force that pulls us together and keep us going through this Mount Holyoke journey. And of course, with good friends, a journey is never too long.
So enjoy your journey here – because it actually never ends.