VeraCatherine Suzuki01

VeraCatherine Suzuki

Executive MBA


“2020 was the easiest, most boring year.” said No One Ever. But really, what did you get done this year? Many of you have barely left the house for months. We have this beautiful new campus, and hardly spent any time here. Just seems disrespectful.

I'd like to say how honored I am to represent the post graduate classes of 2020. I’m so happy to be here with my classmates, some of the professors who guided us along the way, and the rest of you very talented and accomplished people. It’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it? Many of you, I saw in passing at the old campus, many of you I haven’t met; many of you are trying to figure out where you remember me from. If that’s the case, just know that I’m very famous and important and you can find me on LinkedIn.

I’m not good at speeches. My classmates know that I’m great at two things: witty retorts and homework. So when I found out I was speaking today, I told the school how very smart they are for choosing me, and then I immediately started watching hours of commencement speeches. I stole some good quotes from some of them, slept through a couple, then watched some TV, listened to podcasts, and got more good quotes.

VeraCatherine Suzuki02

This year is best summed up by a podcast theme song “Welcome to the worst year ever, but we’ll get through it together…or not.” 2020 proved just how much we cannot do this without one another.

Over 100 years ago, labor activist Eugene Debs expressed this with, “While there is lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

It's easy to feel alone and scared, but fellow Temple University graduate and comedian Tina Fey says, “Confidence is 10% hard work and 90% delusion.”

So congratulations everyone, you are 10% of the way to being ready for anything. Having said that, I just realized that after this speech is over, I’m officially not a student anymore. How can you do that to me? Don’t you know that it’s 2020 out there?

I guess it's time to follow author Neil Gaiman's advice “If you cannot be wise, pretend that you are someone who is wise, and just act like they would."

We’ve always needed one another. I want you to think about why you originally came here. Why did you decide to come back to school and spend all this time and money? Everyone one of us chose this, but not one of us did this alone.

I doubt you have to think too hard about a person who inspired you to get your degree. Turn to someone next to you and tell them the name of one of those people.

We didn't get through this alone either, so now make eye contact with someone who kept you here, whose help was essential to your graduation today. Thank you to everyone here and not here. And we will continue to get through this together.

I'll leave you with the words of author Kurt Vonnegut to the Agnes Scott College class of 1999, “Thanks to you, the forces of ignorance and brutality have lost again.”



経営学修士号(Executive MBA)