Ryan Dobbs told his classmates to enjoy today, one of life’s great positive moments, as he delivered the keynote address for the afternoon ceremony of the 2019 Spring Commencement at Broadmoor World Arena.
“Today the grass is greener, breakfast tasted better, and the music is crisper,” Dobbs said. “Big moments like this also have a unique way of turning down the background noise that day-to-day life turns up as we grow older.”
Dobbs, who is earning his bachelor’s degree in nursing, talked about how his service in the Army helped provide direction after what he considered the most difficult phase of his life.
“My time in the service was a great time full of endless possibilities. It would be the phase in my life where I felt like I was a part of something that mattered. To this day, I credit the military with saving my life and I am infinitely grateful to have had the wonderful opportunity to serve our country.”
Dobbs encouraged his classmates to embrace the tough times, as those are the times when people grow.
“When the pain of life pushes you, you push back! Because on this day you have earned too much, come too far and worked too hard to let life push you over.
“Life is hard. Life is loss. Life is pain. Life is waking up for a clinical you can’t miss and your car not starting. Life is disease. Life is bingeing on Ramen noodles because you have nothing else to eat. Life is tough. But life is also getting down on one knee. Life is watching you son or daughter take their first steps. Life is waking up to your dog licking your face. Life is love. Life is beautiful, but most importantly, life is what you make it.”
Dobbs spoke to the graduates as one of two Student Achievement Award winners. UCCS conferred degrees to nearly 900 students during the afternoon ceremony who completed their academic programs in the spring semester in the College of Business, College of Education, School of Public Affairs, College of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences. More than 650 participated in the afternoon commencement ceremony.