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Royal Purple 2017 commencement speech

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The staff of the Royal Purple would like to thank you all for reading today and supporting us through a year of news.

After many ideas and far-fetched plans on how to inspire our class of graduates, we realized the best way to keep you all engaged would be to talk about what I know, and what comes naturally, and for us, that’s journalism. Bear with us on this, I promise this won’t be fake news.

In the world of responsible journalism, we have a primary purpose of being a watchdog for our community, providing our audience with the information they need to create informed opinions.

Although most of you probably don’t intend on being the next Walter Kronkite or Diane Sawyer, there are many ways that these principles can apply to your everyday life.

We are living in a time where a lot of information is being disseminated rapidly, and learning what makes actual news and how to decipher the true from the fake will help you as you venture out into the real world. It is necessary to democracy that we become smart consumers of news; to be critical of what we read and to always check our facts.

A story is newsworthy if it is timely, meaning when it happens and when it is published is key. That’s really the same for graduation. Whether you came here right after high school or took a nontraditional route to get here, you came when it was your time to succeed.

We are living in one of the most exciting and pivotal times in history. Our society and our culture is evolving politically and socially at a pace that is impossible to keep up with. Every day, there is something new or revolutionary happening that we have never seen before. It has been an amazing time to watch, because what is happening in our world and in this country is very similar to what has happened at this university in our time here.

We as UW-W students have used our voices to bring awareness and demand action to improve our campus climate. We have stood up against policy and legislation that we have not supported, and we have done so peacefully and intelligently. Our athleticism and leadership led us to national titles in football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, wheelchair basketball, and rugby. The artists in the room got to experience and work with professional artists, including the world renown contemporary icon, Kiki Smith. And our business students continued to stand out nationally as being part of one of the most exceptional schools in the country for business and economics.

Our time at UW-Whitewater will be  remembered as we truly left our mark on this campus and will continue to make news in our futures, because the time we spent here will lead to exceptional times in the real world, once we figure out how the whole real world thing works.

As you move on to the next chapter in your life, it is important to remember those who got you where you are today. We firmly believe that every person you meet has an influence on who you are as a person, either positively or negatively.

As journalists, it is our duty to examine people of prominence and think critically about how we should report on them, and this is something you should do too.

Not everyone who comes into your life will be there to help move you forward. You must use your best sense of judgement to determine who will be there to help make good news in your life, and who will help land you on the wrong side of the news section. If you choose to keep a part of every person with you, we promise you will understand more, live better, and succeed farther.

Our last element of news for this lesson is impact. UW-Whitewater has impacted all of us in ways we have yet to realize, and we have done the same for the university.

We urge you all to strive toward making a positive impact on everyone you meet and in every place you go. Hold yourself to a high standard, because you deserve it. You are a graduate of UW-Whitewater and because of the tools and knowledge you got here, you will make an impact on the world.

This is your time. UW-Whitewater has made an impact on your life and now, you can choose where you will go next. So wherever that is, go out there, and start making headlines.

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The student news site of the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
Royal Purple 2017 commencement speech