Samantha Colton '16

Remarks at Commencement - May 22, 2016

“We have lit a candle in the wilderness that will never be extinguished.”  We have heard this phrase time and time again, and at this point it probably sounds more like a cliché, a gimmick to pull out at accepted students days, homecoming weekends, and for t-shirt sales to make a quick buck for class councils. But the thing is, I remember my first night here. As we all stood around the quad grasping a single white candle in our hands, President Fox repeated those exact words. At the time, those words meant nothing as questions flooded our minds. Would we like it here? How would we find our classes? Where was this “Pub” that everyone kept talking about? The number of questions we had seemed immense and the answers to those questions sparse. So when President Fox reminded us how special that first night was, what it meant to stand with all of the members of our graduating class for the first and last time until we would eventually graduate, we didn’t fully comprehend what that meant. Four years later as we all gather once again, but this time for the last time, I want to take this moment in fully. I want us all to take a moment to realize how special this is, how hard we worked to get here. A moment to appreciate the professors we have learned the world from, the parents and families who have provided us this opportunity, those nights in the library when having to write a 500 word reflection felt more like 5 million words, the Dana brunches, Java shows, OC trips, ACE concerts, and the life long friends that we have met along the way. Looking back everything seems so different and yet very much the same today in this moment. There are questions flooding each of our minds like that very first night here. Except these questions have us asking where we are going and where we will eventually end up, one thing is for certain however, we will always have St. Lawrence as that guiding light, that candle in the wilderness, and place to call home. Congratulations class of 2016, I am so incredibly excited to see where life will lead all of us!