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Commencement Speech, Class of 2010

By Danijela Stojanovic

Editor's Note: Danijela Stojanovic was elected permanent class president of the 2010 graduating class. As such, she was selected to present commencement remarks on behalf of her class.

Good morning distinguished members of the faculty and staff, honored guests, proud families, and fellow classmates!  It is truly a great honor to stand here today!  On behalf of our entire class, I would like to thank all of you who have supported us on our journey.  Thank you for your love, faith, and continued encouragement. Without you, the last four years would have gone from challenging to impossible.

My dear classmates, today is the culmination of four incredible years we spent together.  Four years filled with both obstacles and accomplishments.  Our journey began when we received the acceptance letters, which most of us still have and some have even framed.  It seems like just yesterday we met under the tents in the extreme August heat where many of us got our first glimpse of what it's like to be a Longhorn.  After the White Coat Ceremony and the Oath of a Pharmacist, in our minds, we were ready to practice!  The first week was filled with festivities, joy, and an abundance of free food…little did we know that would soon come to an abrupt halt. 

During the first year, we spent hours drawing out metabolic pathways, tried to understand Dr. Morrisett's passion for electrophysiology, struggled through 8 a.m. dose of memorizing every surfactant, emulsion, and inhaler known to man, and luckily survived Dr. McConville's final.  Along the way, we always wondered what all that had to do with pharmacy…And no matter how hard it got, we looked forward to Fridays and a chance to be a liver for an hour of Dr. Davis' class.  And although Arlyn kept reminding us that others followed the same path, we were certain that our exams were definitely harder.  We complained about having 19 exams, but in the spring, that 19 sounded a lot better than 24.  So after completing those 43 exams, we thought we could accomplish anything. 

Second year brought the happiness of experiencing daylight, the love and hate relationship with video streaming, and only two exams per week.  On the other hand, if it wasn't for Dr. Burgess and every bug and drug out there, we would have never discovered the best 24 hr. establishments in Austin!  There was nothing like running into each other at 2 a.m. And after a long lecture on arrhythmias, only we could appreciate the 15 minutes of joy when Dr. Fast brought the 3D glasses!  

During the third year, we finally thought that the worst was behind us…but then there was kinetics.  Dr. Burgess was back with his San Antonio crew to provide us with another sleep-deprived semester.  Trying to recover, we programmed our avatars to take notes in the virtual world of Second Life, while we napped in the world of genomics. 

Then came the fourth year and the real world. While we missed the UT campus and classmates, we caught up with our old friends: coffee, energy drinks, and my personal favorite, Mountain Dew.   However, we still got to see each other at 2 a.m., but this time on Facebook!

Despite countless hours spent studying, there were always moments like laughs at Pharmacy Phollies, bruises after broomball, free food at organizational events, and goodies from trips across the country that made it all worth it.   

Fellow colleagues, today is the time to not only reflect on the past, but to prepare for the future.  As we trade in our white coats for doctoral hoods, we start the next voyage of this journey.  A huge responsibility has now been entrusted to us, but the ones ahead are even greater.  This is by far the most exciting and challenging time for our profession.  We will be faced with many obstacles, but with these obstacles come opportunities for leadership and innovation.  As the pharmacy profession continues to evolve, we must remember our oath and commitment to patient care.

So my friends, I know that none of you will need luck in the future.  I know that your ambitions will get you further than my best wishes.  You may have heard that the ancient Greeks measured the value of someone's life by asking a simple question: "Did he have passion?"  So instead of luck, I wish you to hold on to your passion.  And whether this passion makes you a clinical pharmacist, a community pharmacist, a professor, a pharmacy owner, a researcher, or a director, remember that this prestigious institution has provided us with all the necessary tools to become future leaders who will change not only the profession, but also the world.  No matter where your career takes you, don't forget as Longhorn pharmacists we must proudly represent the burnt orange and "What starts here changes the world." 

In closing, I look forward to hearing about and celebrating your accomplishments.  It is an honor and a privilege to call you classmates, colleagues, and friends!  Congratulations, Class of 2010!  Hook'em Horns!  Thank you!

Last Reviewed: May 25, 2010

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