The Voice: Dear Seton Hall: A commencement speaker follow-up

The Voice

Dear Seton Hall,

It’s been awhile.

Back in November, we, The Setonian, wrote you, the University, a letter expressing seniors’ insistence on having a commencement speaker.

Of course, now we know you had much bigger problems to deal with at the time. Boy, did May 15 look like it was going to be a mess, what, with multiple ceremonies, angry triplets and limited tickets among the many issues. But, after some outside influence, you reassessed your plans and put together a graduation day the majority of seniors could get behind.

With a fine venue in PNC Bank Arts Center, a spacious lawn that won’t keep loved ones at home and a single ceremony that allows the Class of 2017 to walk as one, you appeased a lot of disgruntled students and families. Considering the roller coaster ride planning this event has been, we all would’ve been happy if the placating stopped there.

But, earlier this week, you put a cherry on top, announcing that you will host a keynote speaker for the first time since 2014.

Now, we’re not going to exaggerate excitement for Matthew W. Wright. No disrespect, but prior to Tuesday’s release, many students on campus had no idea who he was. He’s not a household name, but we don’t think students expected one. Nonetheless, we look forward to hearing whatever wisdom Wright has to share.

Matthew W. Wright, Member of Seton Hall’s Board of Regent’s, and the 2017 Commencement Ceremony keynote speaker. Photo via LinkedIn/matthew-wright-0081a212

What we are really excited about is the fact that you stopped hiding behind the excuses used to justify not having a commencement speaker in the past: let’s focus on student speakers, shorter ceremonies are better, there are more efficient ways to spend money, it’s hard to find someone who aligns with University beliefs.

Again, no disrespect, but those explanations have always been pretty weak. Just something to keep in mind for the future.    

But hey, we’re not writing you to harp on the past. Rather, we’re here to express excitement for what should be a special day.

Most of all, we are excited that you, the University, listened to the people you are supposed to look out for, not just on the issue of bringing in a speaker, but on graduation as a whole. We know you’ve heard a lot out of us, the SGA, frustrated parents and the general student body. We know there were a lot of complaints.

You could’ve ignored them, but you didn’t, even if it probably would have been easier to. It took time, but your efforts have proved that the wants, needs and opinions of your community members – at least in regard to this issue – matter to you.      

Those efforts have not gone unnoticed, so thank you.


The Setonian

The Voice is intended to best represent the collective opinion of The Setonian’s Editorial Board. It is written by The Setonian’s Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor.

Author: Editorial Board

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