The Baker Orange

Graduates advised to push through ‘false starts’

Story by Katie

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It’s the day students and parents wait, hope and pray for – graduation day.

The graduates look forward to receiving not only their diplomas, but of course copious amounts of gifts from proud family members and words of advice to take with them into the real world.

Baker University hosted its commencement ceremony on Sunday in Collins Center for the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing and School of Education with CNN hero Mark Kabban as the keynote speaker.

Kabban, who had many “false starts” after graduation, advised Baker graduates to not get discouraged.

“I got fired from three different jobs after I graduated, but I learned that nothing is ever wasted,” Kabban said. “No amount of knowledge, no amount of experience.”

Kabban, now the Executive Director to a refugee assistance group called YALLA (Youth and Leaders Living Actively), credits his own success to family, friends and the faculty at Baker.

“The real learning begins after you leave Baker, but it’s the Baker faculty that has taught you how to learn,” Kabban said.

Senior class President Bristol Brandt also spoke about the importance of the Baker students, faculty and staff.

“I was finally able to comprehend what made Baker University so special, and it’s the people,” Brandt said. “Important moments in life are special and significant simply because of the people you’re able to share them with.”

Each year, a Baker faculty member is recognized with the Kopke Award. This year’s winner was Assistant Professor of Psychology Sara Crump.

While this award is given for a record of excellence in teaching and in transforming students into scholars, some of Kabban’s final advice was to not be worried about the things you don’t know.

“It’s the unspoken part of being a professional,” Kabban said. “Everyone starts out feeling like an imposter. In other words, you’ve just got to fake it until you make it.”

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