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Friday, December 17, 2010

Copy of Aron White's Speech

Here, as provided by UGA, is the speech tight end Aron White gave at Georgia's commencement ceremony Friday morning.

I would like to start by saying good morning and welcome to our friends and family that have joined us to commemorate this occasion. But more importantly I would like to say congratulations to all of my fellow graduates.

Some of you might have recognized my name or face and thought to yourself, 'What is a football player doing giving our commencement speech? Haven't we given them enough attention? Surely we could have found a more intelligent or eloquent speaker.' To which I would reply I am sure both of those things could have been accomplished. I certainly never dreamed when I called coach Mark Richt and told him I wanted to be a Bulldawg that I would be speaking to my graduating class three and a half years after arriving on campus. But I have always valued my education. When I chose to come to the University of Georgia, I did so not only because of the athletic opportunities that I was offered, but also for the strong academic tradition that I would be blessed to be a part of. That is why I consider every day a blessing that I have spent here at this university.

I'm sure we would all agree that college days were the best of our lives thus far. We have met life long friends and formed invaluable connections, spent countless hours at the MLC cramming for tests or writing last minute papers. We have even cursed the parking services when we've found a pink envelope tucked neatly underneath our windshield wiper. We have been both shocked and intrigued as we read the headlines of the Red and Black. We have joined fraternities, sororities and other student organizations. And though my game day experience was a little different from all of yours, we've all spent our Saturdays at Sanford Stadium bleeding red and black. Georgia truly is everything that one could ask for in a university. From athletics to academics to Greek life to night life, we have done it all.

During our college days we have witnessed disasters such as the Haiti earthquake and the BP spill.We have seen innovations and technologies such as Facebook and the iPhone sweep over the nation and captivate our imaginations. We have seen multiple national championships in various sports. We have been the first class to have four different mascots while in attendance at Georgia. We witnessed three UGA students in just three years be named as Rhodes Scholars, two of which came in a single year. We have witnessed the election of the first African American president of the United States. We are working through one of the worst economic downturns in our country’s history and we are graduating into the most competitive job market since we have been alive. But I say to my graduating class do not fear or be dismayed.

Our college careers have been no different than our predecessors. We are still a top twenty public university. We have sat and listened to global leaders in our respective fields of study. We have read from the classics. We have even been named the number one party school in America. Given our record this year, at least we are number one in something. Time and time again we have stood up to the expectation placed upon us by those that have come before us.

I personally have stood next to some of the greatest athletes to wear the silver britches. I have played against first round draft picks. I have heard the crowds cheer from the hallowed sod between the hedges. I have received numerous academic and athletic awards. But I would not tell you that I am worthy to speak at an occasion such as this..... Not until today. It is not until today that I feel worthy to speak to all of you because today is the day that I will have the honor to cross under the famed Georgia arch. I know that my mother and father have not felt the pride they feel at this very moment. I know this because all other achievements and accolades in my life have fallen short of everything that a degree from this great university stands for. A degree from Georgia represents our entire college experience. It represents the knowledge we have aquired through our classroms. It represents the maturity we now possess. It represents the character that we have demonstrated through on and off campus activities. And for a lucky few of us, the honor of representing UGA through intercollegiate athletics. Sir Thomas Carlyle once said, "what an enormous magnifier is tradition!." I could not be more honored to be a part of the tradition of commencement and have the chance to share with all of you just how big of an accomplishment you have achieved.

In closing, to all those sitting before me who will receive their degrees today I applaud you. The world is full of limitless possibilities. And though I cannot predict the future as we make our transitions from undergraduates to graduates I have no doubt that we are prepared for the world. In my opinion the question should be.......... Is the world prepared for us? Congratulation graduates.


Randy said...

Wow what a great speech! This is Georgia.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Aron! Congratulations!

Stevie said...

I give speeches professionally as well as write and coach business people for presentations and speeches. I wish I could have heard Aaron deliver these words. They were simple, efficient, humorous, and thoughtful. I am constantly amazed at what our young people do. In spite of the negative headlines, this program has numerous students that represent the program with honor and dignity.

Well done Aaron! Congratulations to you and your classmates and welcome to the real world.

Anonymous said...

Aron, you should have caught that pass against UF (the one they intercepted). We would have won the game if you would have made that catch!

Todd said...

Anon 9:52 ... FAIL.

Anonymous said...

Aron White a mighty fine Dawg! You represent the true student-athlete!

Anonymous said...

Aron, Thanks for being a great Dawg! That speech was so touching. We love you and wish you great things for you!

Joeski said...

Great speech! Thanks for posting it, Seth.

Too often, like Anon @ 9:52pm, we forget the student portion of 'student-athlete', and forget to take pride in our Dawgs' accomplishments in the classroom as well as on the field.

Aron, if you should happen to read this, I want you to know that you've made at least one alum damn proud to be a Georgia Bulldog today.

OldDawg55 said...

A very great man once included in his speech: "the world will little note nor long remember what we say here..." and that may be true of your commencement day speech, but for those of us who heard it and read it, it reaches the heart and minds and leaves an impreint--an imprint of youthful wisdom, hope, and sincerity. Well done, Aron..Missouri sent us one of its finest, we've polished you and now send you off into the world to make your impact. Here's wishing you the very're a damn good dawg!!