Alexis Waldschmidt: 2021 Welcome and Valedictorian Introduction

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Good morning.

Honored guests, trustees, family, friends, faculty, staff, and fellow Class of 2021: it is my pleasure to welcome you to the University of Notre Dame’s 176th Commencement Ceremony. 

On behalf of the members of this year’s graduating class, I want to take a moment to thank the family members, friends, and mentors gathered here today, as well as those who could not be here in person but who are with us in our hearts. Thank you for the support you have given us and the sacrifices you have made so that we could be here in person to have our degrees conferred. 

I would also like to thank the faculty, staff, rectors, and Holy Cross religious who have helped us throughout our journey. Their dedication to educating both the intellect and the heart have forever shaped us as we prepare to enter the next phase of our lives.

Today, we become graduates of the University of Notre Dame. As I look out at you, I see enormous accomplishment and great hope. In our own individual ways, we can and we will make a difference in the world, because, like the many alumni who have come before us, we are blessed with an education that has nurtured our minds, hearts, and spirits. Congratulations Class of 2021. It is a privilege to be graduating with such an amazing cohort.

Now, it is my pleasure to introduce the valedictorian of the class of 2021. She is a neuroscience/pre-med major and poverty studies minor from Columbus, Ohio. She has earned a 4.0 grade point average, is a Notre Dame Stamps Scholarship recipient, and a Phi Beta Kappa honor society inductee. Her service activities include volunteer work at Memorial Hospital in South Bend and founding the Summer Camp Youth Project. Please join me in welcoming Madeline Owen.