Howe to address fellow Transy graduates at Commencement

Erin Brock



This year’s 2012 student Commencement speaker, candidate for graduation Ashley Howe, smiles for the camera as she eagerly awaits graduating with her peers.

Another academic year at Transylvania University is coming to an end, and that means that graduation is just around the corner. And with any graduation ceremony come speakers—this year’s commencement speakers are alumna Bianca Spriggs and candidate for graduation Ashley Howe.

Spriggs and Howe will speak during the commencement ceremony, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 26.

“I had not ever considered submitting a speech for commencement until two individuals I really respect recommended that I write one. Writing my speech was challenging because I had to figure out what message I thought would be most applicable to our entire class,” Howe said. “I enjoyed the writing process, however, because I had to sit down and reflect on what I have gained over the past four years, which calmed a lot of the anxiety I have been having about graduate school.”

Candidate for graduation Anderson Salinas, the other finalist to speak at commencement, also wanted his speech to reflect his entire experience at Transy. “I always felt like we’ve always learned a lot outside of class but graduation doesn’t really recognize that. So I wanted to write something that gave a nod to all the things we learned when we weren’t in class.”

Howe and Salinas submitted their speeches several weeks ago, along with other seniors, and performed them in front of a group of peers. This group then rated each speech and the top two voted speeches passed on into the next round, where they performed their speech for members of the administration on Tuesday.

“Presenting for the Deans is a lot more intimidating than presenting for other seniors. They don’t stare you down but they’re a tougher audience,” Salinas said.

Both Howe, who will be attending the Washington and Lee University School of Law in the fall, and Salinas, who plans to take some time off and apply to law school in the fall, credit their friends with helping them prepare to deliver their speeches.

“My friends really have been supportive of me trying to speak. They ask me all the time if I’ve found out yet. They all wanted me to perform for them so they could give me some tips and also tried hard to be as ridiculous as possible so I could work on keeping my composure. They were a big help,” Salinas said.

“I was lucky to have been able to participate and to have received such great support from my friends, who patiently listened to each part of my speech about twenty times,” Howe said.

The week leading up to Commencement holds many activities for seniors as well, including a Senior Challenge picnic before a Lexington Legends baseball game and the senior toast.

Check out for a complete schedule of Senior Week, or Columns for more information about Commencement, including dress code and rain ticket information.




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