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Marquette Senior Speaker: Remember Supporters & Pay it Forward


It’s graduation season, which also means it’s the season of commencement speeches. A time when celebrities take the stage, armed with jokes and wisdom for millions of young people entering the workforce.

But among the venerable speakers chosen to speak to our nation’s graduates, are some graduates themselves. Wyatt Massey is a journalism major from Marquette University, and after a lengthy process, which included votes from both students and faculty, he was chosen as the senior speaker for Marquette’s Class of 2016.

For Massey, it was both an honor and a daunting assignment. What could he, a fellow 22-year-old graduate, tell his peers about life after college? How could any single student try to encapsulate the experiences of such a diverse group of people on a day they've been spent years preparing for? Massey decided that instead of just looking at the past, it was best to look to the future. 

"It's not so much reflecting on some sage life advice, but my speech is taking more the approach of looking at what got us here. What's the sort of things we share as a class, and how can we take those experiences and realize all the sacrifices that were made in order for us to graduate and sort of pay that forward for others," he says. 

He hopes his fellow graduates will remember their time at Marquette, and use their experiences to help the next generation of graduates. 

Marquette's commencement ceremony will be Sunday, May 22 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. 

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as producer for Lake Effect. Most recently, she was a director and producer for The Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.