Alex Trznadel’s Baccalaureate Speech
May 18, 2012
CMA Class of 2012
Though we are small in number, our class has accomplished great things both individually and collectively. We have helped one another grow into men, and we have supported each other in reaching this accomplishment, a stepping stone to success.
For many of us, our first day at Camden was the scariest and loneliest day of our lives. Who can forget your first meal here? Your first shower? Your first class? Your first night trying to sleep while your new roommate snored the night away? Many of us never thought that we would be able to learn how ranking worked, or wondered why we were the only ones who kept getting the bad chores?
Yet, as we settled in, we accomplished more than we ever believed possible. We had wins on the sports fields and successes in the classroom. The class of 2012 has produced Junior Leaders, State finalist for the National History Day competition, varsity lettermen, and community theatre performers. Tomorrow there will be an award ceremony to honor the numerous cadets who have achieved excellence in the fields and beyond. I wish I had the time to elaborate on all of our accomplishments but 4 or 5 minutes can’t cover the numerous obstacles we overcame or victories we achieved. We have done a lot.
We have all survived what we thought we never could. We will go on to attend colleges and universities near and far. Some of us will travel this summer to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico and various other vacation spots. We also have a record number of graduates who will enter the United States military to serve and honor our nation. Our class will be spread out across the world.
What will we graduating cadets do?? How many times has every one of us said, “I can’t wait until graduation!”? The day is here! Now what? Easy answer, right? All we have to do is pursue ALL of our dreams and achieve all of our life goals.
While we may all differ in what our Camden experience has provided us, we all have to agree that our experiences here have changed us. When we meet our peers in this next phase of life, the lessons we have learned at CMA will be clear. Lessons including self-sufficiency, responsibility, and leadership. High school may have been harder for us, but through challenges and adversity, we are better prepared to face the future.
Thanks to what we have learned here, when we make the decisions that lead to adulthood, our choices will be more thought out. When we make inevitable mistakes, they will be less disastrous for us. CMA has helped us to understand what it means to have consequences. These sometimes hard lessons will empower us as adults to make wise decisions leading not only to success in our careers, but also positive differences in ourselves, in our families, and in our communities.
Mahatma Ghandi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Through what we have learned at CMA and our collective experiences, this small class will be a positive force in an expansive world. Even though we will be spread far and wide after this weekend, together, we can make an impact wherever we are, and know, even if we never meet again, that we forever share a bond.
As we leave this nest forever, let us never forget that all the times we thought CMA was clipping our wings…in reality, we were being taught to fly.
Class of 2012…Fly far and fly straight.