Good morning friends, family, and members of the Otterbein community. My name is Katie Miller, and I am so excited to be with you today celebrating this momentous occasion. It does not seem possible that it is May, not to mention the day that we are all graduating from Otterbein. Yet, that is exactly what we are doing.
Personally, I know the past couple of weeks, well, actually, the past year has consisted of me nervously trying to prepare for this day and what the future would entail after Otterbein. I’m sure that everyone in this room has experienced at least a moment or two of similar apprehension. Lately, we have all been talking about what we are going to do next, where we are going to go, and what big plans we have. Don’t get me wrong, those are all valid topics of conversation, but how about we change it up a bit. Let’s take a quick breather from the excitement and nervousness surrounding the “future plans” conversation and reﬂect on the experiences that have brought us to this moment. Yes, I know, that seems like a hefty task. It’s hard to encapsulate everything you have done in the past year, not to mention your whole Otterbein experience, but we are soon-to-be Otterbein graduates - we can do it!
Each one of us has a story as to how our Otterbein journey began, but, somehow, we all made the decision to attend this beautiful university....well, college at the time. We all signed the rock during our ﬁrst weekend on campus. We all gathered on the football ﬁeld for our class picture and to awkwardly clap hands with everyone in our class. We all witnessed President Krendl’s inauguration. We have all experienced the glory of Schneider’s donuts, received emails about missing pink bathtubs, and, most likely, received a parking ticket here and there. Yes, we have all had some similar experiences, but one of the greatest things about Otterbein is that we have had a plethora of opportunities to make the past few years our own. And, as a class, I think we have done that. Each of us has our own fabulous collage of experiences - some have served the community, others have interned across the country, presented at national conferences, and traveled the world. However, at the end of the day, we have all been able to explore anything and everything that we are interested in, which could be one of the reasons why it is so hard to leave such a wonderful place.
But, the good news is, while we may not be students anymore, our Otterbein journey never really has to end. Otterbein has given us a top-notch education, life-long friendships, an abundance of amazing memories, and the conﬁdence to move on to the next chapter of our lives. Most importantly, Otterbein has given us a home. Just like every other home that we cherish, we will always have a place to come back to. Otterbein is near and dear to each of our hearts. Even though some of us may end up outside of Westerville, or even Ohio, we will always be able to look back on our Otterbein memories and smile (or laugh, possibly cringe, maybe yawn, but, hopefully, smile).
As you look back on your time at Otterbein, remember the ﬁrst friend you met on campus. Remember your ﬁrst Otterbein sporting event. Remember those special people who eased your mind when you were a frazzled mess around ﬁnals. Remember those classes that seemed pointless, but now, looking back, really connect to your life. Remember Frozen OtterBeans. Remember to thank those who have helped you get to this point. But most of all, remember to enjoy this day. Take a look around- we are surrounded by a quality faculty and staff support system and the love of our friends and family. We have all worked hard. We all deserve to be here. Let’s embrace it. We are well-educated, well-rounded, dressed to the nines, and ready to take on this day as well as everyday from here forward.
Congratulations, Class of 2013!
Katie Miller is a Business Administration major. She studied abroad at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and served as a Lead Peer Mentor and Orientation Leader for first year students. She also served as executive director of Otterbein's Up Til Dawn student organization and as vice president of Rotaract. She was a tutor advisor at the University of Cincinnati's Upward Bound program and an administration intern at The Childhood League Center in Columbus, Ohio.