COMMENCEMENT: Mickelle E. Shea Gives 2004 Student Graduation Address

Published: May 10, 2004 | Author: Renee Ballenger | Read Time: 1 minutes

Mickelle E. Shea of Fruit Heights, Utah, (she graduated in 2000 from Davis High School) was the student speaker at Southern Utah University’s Commencement ceremony, last Saturday, May 10th.

She was chosen by a committee of faculty, staff and students, from a pool of 17 who applied to give the student address. Her speech, titled “Darkest Corners” urged her fellow graduates to take the light of their talents, gifts and experiences into the not-so-attractive or glamorous places of the world. She said, “So many of us have big celebrations planned. Disneyland, Hawaii, Las Vegas. . . But is anyone visiting someplace a little less well-lit, perhaps an intensive care unit, a food bank, or to juvenile detention?

”You won’t find darkness to be a vacation spot. Nobody ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ with envy when you announce your itinerary. In fact, upon announcing your location of choice, you will be met with confusion. You are seeking after the dark places in the world? Why? Why would anyone who had suffered through law school then spend their time working for low-income clients instead of making their fortune? Why would a Criminal Justice major offer their skills to rehabilitate inmates – on their own time? Why choose darkness?”

Shea, an elementary education major, spoke these words to 1,062 of her classmates. She graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.9.

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