by Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders '73, B.A, M.A.
Good afternoon. My name is Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders, and I am a member of the Denison University Board of Trustees and a member of the Class of 1973. It is a pleasure to welcome you here today, to the 161st Annual Commencement Exercises, in spite of the rain.
I am a broadcaster, and as we always say, "the show must go on," regardless of the situation. Thank you for being here, and a special thank you to the parents. Life is a marvelous, transitory adventure — you never know how you may have to adapt to the situation, as we've had to do here today.
This is a special place. Denison University, through its halls and across its campus, has graduated men and women of eight generations. Many of them have moved on over the years to positions of national and international leadership in science, letters, the arts, business, government, education and religious life. Two of them —?Tony Hall, Class of 1964, and Stephen Holmes, Class of 1969 — are here today so that we can honor their achievements.
To the graduates, today you will be taking your places among that illustrious group of alumni. I am certain that the Class of 2002 will also produce leaders of great distinction and citizens of great worth. In fact, there's a good chance that at least one of you, one of these days, will be here to receive an Honorary Degree or to greet a future graduating class as the representative of the Board of Trustees.
On behalf of all alumni who have served as Trustees through the years, I thank you, Class of 2002, for what you have allowed Denison to give to you — and for all that you have given us in return. I offer you my congratulations, and I welcome you to the Society of the Alumni! Thank you.