Congratulations, Weber State University Class of 2017!
This is a major accomplishment in our life, one our future generations will be grateful for. We are now alumni of Weber State University and we should be proud to be Wildcats.
To be honest, it has taken me seven years to develop pride in being a Wildcat — and I’m not just proud because I am graduating. My eyes have finally opened enough to see the accomplishments we have made as a university.
I remember being in my biology class in high school when my teacher asked what university I would be attending. I’m ashamed of my response now. I simply said, “I will be attending just Weber.”
I remember, as if it were yesterday, her reaction as she gave me the most serious look and said, “No, you will be attending Weber State University. Be proud of your university.” I took that for granted at the time and for the past seven years.
You see, we are students and future alumni from Weber State University, not ‘Just Weber.’ ‘Just’ would imply that we are no more than something. Let me tell you, we are not simply Weber.
We Are Weber.
Before, I listened to critics say things such as, “Well, you go to Weber. It can’t be that hard.” To those critics, I would like to extend a correction. We are Weber State University. We take pride in the two Wildcats who are now NBA players, Damian Lillard and Joel Bolomboy. Our professors are professionals in their respective fields. We have award-winning organizations run by students for students. Our faculty participates in executive boards such as with the regional board of Society of Professional Journalists, the Public Relations Society of America, even the Associated Press Style board and many more.
Our Wildcat alumni are CEO’s and CFO’s of companies like T-Mobile, Black & Decker and Cinemark Theaters, among others. Our pride is in those creators and founders of national and international companies and organizations.
We also take pride in the alumni who have held positions in government and recognize those many alumni who have excelled in education, sports, entertainment and the military.
Our graduates and faculty have received local and national recognition, such as the Athena Leadership Award from the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce awarded to Adrienne Andrews Gillespie, chief diversity officer at WSU. Jessica Schreifels Miller, former editor-in-chief of The Signpost, received the Pulitzer Prize along with the entire Salt Lake Tribune staff.
As you can see, we have a lot to take pride in. Don’t ever think, “I received a degree from ‘Just Weber.’” You have worked as hard or harder than any other graduate in the state. Your degree should mean a lot to you and no one should downgrade that accomplishment. You received a degree from Weber State University.
Take pride in being a Weber State University Wildcat.
Congratulations are in order once more. You are the pride and joy of Weber State University.