Abrah Meyer gave the address for her fellow graduating seniors, family and friends at the CALS Convocation in Hilton Coliseum on Friday, May 10, 2019. Here are some of the remarks she shared with the CALS Class of 2019, which totaled 826 seniors.
Well, folks, spring has sprung! We have finally made it to the culmination of our adventure as Cyclones. For some of us, it took two year...or three...or four...or five...or in my case, six years!
It is an honor to walk across the stage today as a graduate of Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This college always has much of which to be proud. Last year, the college had a historically high 99.2 percent graduate placement rate. This spring, three of my fellow classmates in the college were recognized for their outstanding achievements with the Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award, an honor received by only seven of Iowa State’s entire senior class.
Most importantly, as graduates of this college, we are the future leaders who will help solve complex problems to ensure food, fiber and natural resources for a growing global population.
Now, after all of the organic chemistry, economics, biology and other necessary classes, you probably think we have all the answers to these complex problems. We are totally flattered by that! Yet, as I think about what lies ahead of us, allow me to share with you one lesson on life sciences. Here in my hand is a flower. Often, as I’ve thought about graduation, I’ve imagined myself and my classmates as fully grown, fully bloomed individuals—ready to take on whatever the world throws at us.
But actually, what I’ve realized as I look forward to the future is that we all really are a little bit more like this [holding up a growing but not yet bloomed flower]—a life that is about ready to bloom. We have been fed, nurtured and provided for with the necessary resources by the best caretakers — family, friends and the outstanding faculty, staff and administration at Iowa State University.
After today, we will be planted all across this state, nation and globe, and the call for each of our lives is to bloom where we’re planted — whether that’s attending graduate school, serving in the armed forces or beginning a career. In doing so, we will continue to grow by the same means as this flower.
The sunlight we need will be found in the bright minds that surround us, imparting wisdom and perspective that we do not yet have.
The water we need will be our friends and family who refresh us, reminding us of what’s most true about who we are.
The nutrients we need will be the encouragement and support we receive along the way when the environments in which we find ourselves may be challenging to grow.
The fact of the matter is: The healthiest plants are those that open up and receive their resources abundantly. And that is how we, as graduates, will also bloom best. What is amazing and most exciting about the life cycle of a flower is that it eventually sows its seeds, allowing new life to grow. As graduates of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, we must someday sow our seeds and give life to the next generation who will also be called to meet the demands of a hungry and growing world.
I am encouraged by those who planted a seed for each one of us, enabling us to graduate from one of the best ag and life science colleges in the world. Thank you to the faculty, staff and administration of this college and Iowa State University for nurturing and providing us with an inviting environment in which we as students have grown. The strongest plants have the deepest roots. I think I speak for my entire class in saying we wouldn’t want to be rooted anywhere other than Iowa State University.
For the rest of our lives, we will be loyal sons and daughters, forever true, singing “Sweet Caroline” and—mark my words because I’m calling it right now—witnessing a national championship in football! There is much to celebrate today, but tomorrow, remember this: Bloom where planted, grow always and sow seeds.
Congratulations to the class of 2019!