Seniors urged to “run towards the roar”

Josiah Curtis, class of 2009, spoke during Senior Investiture. Corey McFeeley / THE GATEPOST

Seniors donned their caps and gowns for the first time during Senior Investiture on April 23 in DPAC.

The ceremony opened with a processional of faculty, librarians and staff members, followed by the national anthem and remarks for graduating seniors from administrators, alumni and current students.

Approximately 25 seniors attended the ceremony.

Meg Nowak, dean of students, gave the welcoming address. She encouraged students to “be present and open to moments” in their finals days at FSU before introducing President F. Javier Cevallos.

Cevallos urged students to take a break from their studies and their stress to soak in the experience of their last few weeks, connect with faculty and friends, and reflect on their time at FSU.

“Think of all the memories that you have of your years here – those long evenings in the library, at the McCarthy Center, at Angry Hams,” he added to laughs from the crowd.

After his opening remarks, Cevallos introduced Josiah Curtis, a graduate of the class of 2009 and a senior associate at Berry Appleman & Leiden. Curtis specializes in business immigration law.

“It was a difficult year to be an immigration attorney,” he said.

He said he works with clients who want results that aren’t necessarily attainable in the current climate, which can lead to frustration among his clients and among his colleagues.

Curtis added, “A lot of my colleagues are complaining about the situation in which they find themselves, instead of finding an opportunity in that moment to develop a relationship with a client stakeholder or to solve a complex problem in maybe a way you didn’t think to solve it before.” 

Framingham State taught him how to react to difficult circumstances in a positive way, not a negative way – unlike some of the more prestigious schools his colleagues attended, he added.

“This place has given you everything that you’re going to need when you’re out in the working world, whatever it is that you’re going to be doing,” he said.

Curtis reminded seniors that when they enter the working world, they will be advocates for Framingham State and all the students who will come after them.

Jackie Carlson, vice president of the class of 2018, addressed the crowd next. Carlson reminded seniors to “fake it till you make it,” as so many did during their freshman year and in difficult classes. 

She added, “I need to let you in on a little secret which, by now, you may have already figured out. When you fake it till you make it, in reality, you’re actually just making it. You’re really doing it.”

Millie González, interim chief officer of diversity, inclusion and community engagement, gave the reflections from the faculty. She encouraged students to wear their struggles as a badge of honor as they leave FSU.

She told students to stay grateful and humble, live to the truth, and “run towards the roar.”

She added, “I heard this African proverb, ‘run towards the roar,’ many years ago, and I rely on its sage advice to this day.”

González shared a story about old and young lions in the wild, the moral of which was that you must go toward things that scare you in order to survive and succeed.

Cevallos delivered the closing remarks and then junior Inessa Burnell led the crowd in the alma mater, “Live to the Truth,” to end the ceremony.