Richard Jenkins ’15, Class President

President Hanno, Dean Kenny, Provost Eisenmann, trustees, faculty, family and friends, it is my honor to welcome you to Wheaton College’s Commencement ceremonies. I would like to take this time to thank all of you for your support and encouragement over the last four years and for the years to come.

To my classmates: We did it. All of our hard work has led to this, and we can celebrate and take pride in all we accomplished. Our time at Wheaton has been almost as stormy as when we arrived just in time for Hurricane Irene. We have been an active and engaged class who has been able to turn our passions and our ideas into lasting parts of this campus.

We are such a diverse group that it would be impossible to list all of the ways we have impacted our little campus. We founded clubs, led rallies and protests and stood up for the things that we believe in. Wheaton offered us a platform to do all of this, and we will use that platform to launch into what’s next.

We are a class who first bonded around the lampposts surrounding Peacock Pond, and remained true to each other throughout our time here in the bubble. We could be seen around the baseball field, in the stands at the pool, lining up in Weber Theater, or filing into the chapel to support our classmates in all that they do. We have talented athletes, beautiful performers and no shortage of creative minds that have only grown their talents and their passions in their short four years here.

The most important things we can take away from Wheaton are the incredible relationships we have built. Use them as we move forward from this wonderful place. We have gained important mentors and made lifelong friends. These people will always be in our corner and be there to encourage and support us in all that we pursue.

There are no limits to the possibilities of our success. Wheaton has given us the tools and knowledge, but as we cross this stage it is our turn to use and share our knowledge. We can honor the Wheaton tradition by excelling in whatever field or fields we choose to pursue, and by being active and engaged members in the alumnae/i community.

As we look to the next steps and travel down our different paths, we should look back at our time here and say, ‘Wow. How lucky am I to have been part of such a special place.’ The Wheaton experience will be with us for the rest of our lives. Take your skills and all that you have learned and go from this place knowing that you have what it takes to be successful. I wish you nothing but the best, and congratulations.

Related Links: