2016 College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences 2pm Student Speaker – Lauren Oviedo

And now it is my pleasure to
introduce our student commencement speaker this afternoon, Lauren Oviedo.>>[APPLAUSE]
>>Our speaker was competitively chosen by a committee
of peers, faculty, and staff. Lauren was selected based on
the impact of her comments and her ability to resonate with the
graduating class and all of our guests. Lauren is an animal science major
from Laguna Nigel, California. Over the past four years, you might
have found her feeding calves down at the dairy, out hiking at Lake Berryessa. Coaching youth basketball,
cuddling foster kitties, or exploring the Pacific Northwest with
the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She enjoys reading,
snorkeling and blues dancing. Following graduation,
she hopes to travel, write, and work in wildlife rehabilitation. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome
our student speaker, Lauren Oviedo.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Thank you, Dean Dillard. Greetings, distinguished faculty,
friends, family, and fellow members of the class of 2016. [LAUGH]
>>[APPLAUSE]>>My name is Lauren Oviedo, and I would first like to say,
surprise mom and dad, I told you not to worry
about being able to spot me.>>[LAUGH]
>>And to my peers, let’s begin with this,
inhale, exhale. It wasn’t easy, but we did it. During my first year at UC Davis, I face-planted during
a jog in the Arboretum. I left my clothes in the washing
machine for 24 hours. I unsuccessfully tried to make
Toaster Strudel in a microwave. I found myself locked out of my
dorm in shower shoes and a towel. I became acutely familiar with
the smell of cows, and of course, I crashed my bike, twice. And I must confess, last week I may or may
not have bumped that number up to three. But in a matter of minutes,
my transcripts will at last read Lauren Oviado, graduate, 2012 to 2016. And I will be receiving
that famous bold-font, gold-stamped document telling me
that it all worked out in the end. A diploma just over 50 words, a
certificate made with ink, paper, coffee, scantrons, joy, perpetual dedication and
unabashed passion. In the pursuit of this diploma
I have felt soul-rattling fear, I have felt chest-welling confidence. And sometimes I felt both those things
in a single week or a single day or even a single midterm. In fact, I’m feeling something
along those lines right about now. And I know that I’m not alone in
saying that attending UC Davis was the best decision of my life. And, yes, we will try our hardest to
remember every minute detail of these fantastic fourish years. Yet, as unforgettable as it all seems,
in ten years, you will strain to recall which
class gave you your first C+. Chem 2B.>>[LAUGH]
>>The kind of farmer’s market juice it was you adored, apple. And the name of your go-to
breakfast burrito place. Shout-out to Ali Baba’s. [LAUGH]
>>[LAUGH]>>And you know what, that’s okay. You will forget some things and so will I. But, as we lock up our bikes for the last
time and roll down our Aggie tube socks, let us promise to always remember
just one thing, the people. Because so long as I live, I swear to you I will never forget the
people that made this endeavor possible. I will never forget the roommate that made
my first year away from home survivable. I will never forget the RA that
tolerated freshman year antics. I will never forget the friend
that convinced me to take swing dancing lessons. Or the people that consoled me after I
then chipped my front tooth swing dancing. I will never forget the professor
that taught me to welcome challenges. Or the boss who showed me the beauty
of a meandering career path. I will never forget meeting
my five future bridesmaids. [LAUGH] And of course, I will never forget
how impossible this all would have been without my parents’ continuous support,
love and chocolate-filled care packages. [LAUGH] So today is about gratitude for our own tenacity, and intelligence,
and perseverance, and gratitude for the people who helped to
cultivate those qualities within us. So thank the people that you might see for
the very last time today. And thank the people that you know you’ll
be sharing Aggie pride with long after today’s commencement, and
maybe even your children’s or your grandchildren’s commencement. Today you can say thank you with a hug. But tomorrow and every day after, you
can say thank you by daring greatly and living boldly. I find myself immeasurably humbled
in attempting to imagine the impact the members of this class will
go on to have on the world. I know that many of us
are nervous about graduating. It is a little daunting. But four years ago,
all we wanted to do was get into college. Don’t be upset that our
dream has come to fruition. My high school graduation quote was,
do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many. And so I say to you all and to myself that
we would be naive to fear graduating from the University of California- Davis,
one of the best universities in the world. Our education truly is a rare and
special privilege denied to many. Whether you already have a big kid job,
you’re headed back to the books for grad school or you’re still figuring
out your next move, have faith. We’re all going to find our place. So let’s get out there and
make our loved ones proud. We’ll always remember these years. They’ve been great. But now we have
the capacity to be greater. Thank you.>>[APPLAUSE]

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