For New Graduate, ‘Always More to Accomplish’

By Pam Robinson

May 14, 2009 2:16pm

ABC News On Campus reporter Ryan Calhoun blogs: <!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-alt:"Calisto MT"; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1107304683 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-alt:"Arial Rounded MT Bold"; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";} p {mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-margin-top-alt:auto; margin-right:0in; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>    It took until 3 p.m. of graduation day to feel that I had accomplished something, and to feel that it was my day.  But when President Obama addressed the class, all I kept thinking about was how I wanted to do more.  Obama didn’t receive an honorary degree, but he said there is always more to accomplish and on this day, that’s the way I felt.  As he was talking, I wanted to be an amazing journalist, not for me, not for my family, but more importantly, for the communities that I will be working in for this great country. Being able to see the first black president, and watch my friends and family travel from all across the country to see the first black president, and the first president they had ever seen speak, was indescribable.  When his name was announced, I couldn’t open my mouth to say a word.  But I also got angry when people got up and left once he was done speaking.  He had just finished giving a speech about being a good person and putting other people first, and half the stadium cleared out when he was done speaking.  I think if he was going to stay for the long haul, then I should too, and I did.  It was for my parents, though, that I stayed: they were able to see me move the cap tassel from one side to the other as a college graduate. After four years, though school is out forever, as Alice Cooper sang before the president arrived. I know I have a lot to learn and will continue to work hard to live up to the message the president left for me and the class of 2009. Below, my mother, Shirley Calhoun, offers her thoughts on my graduation: May 13 was the day I watched my son Ryan Calhoun graduate from college.  What a plus to have the commencement delivered by President Barack Obama. The whole day was exciting, and even though I had thought it was going to be a mad house with tons of security and long check-ins, it all went flawlessly.  The wait was somewhat long, especially for our youngest son Dante, who is 5, who said throughout the day that he was going to see Barack Obama.  As the excitement grew, we passed the time shopping for Obama souvenirs.  The band and choir and all of the entertainment were awesome. But once they announced the President Obama, I could feel the energy and excitement in just his presence in the stadium. The students and family and friends cheered with such hope for tomorrow. It was as if he was a friend coming to wish our sons and daughters well on their journey. I especially enjoyed President Obama swearing in the ROTC young men and women,  as if he were personally  telling them thank you for the service they were about to embark on. I must say it was well worth the wait to see and hear the President Obama speak so gracefully with great poise on the work that must be done big and small and that we can all matter and can make a difference in some ones lives. ASU students should feel very fortunate to have such a great man come to speak to them. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event that they get to cherish from this day forward. Thank you, President Obama, for making my son’s day extra special.  Very happy parent
Shirley Calhoun

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