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Redd Ingram Photo Redd Ingram
Columbia University, New York, NY
Major - Music

Good morning Class of 2017! Today is Saturday, May 27 and these are your daily announcements:

390 of our incredible seniors will be graduating today!

Tomorrow, they’ll be continuing their education at the collegiate level at some of the nation’s finest universities, serving in our armed forces, or hopping straight into a new career.

Also on this day, teachers are starting to reconsider why they decided to stay in high school for their entire lives.

Seniors, Classmates, friends — graduates, Congratulations. We made it! After 18 long years, it is finally OUR graduation day. In the words of Canadian philosopher and street poet, Drake, We started from the bottom, now we’re here. Started from the bottom now the whole team’s here! Some of the parents look confused. That’s a Drake lyric. Drake’s a rapper.

Less than 4 years ago, we all raced into high school, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, seemingly ready to face the exciting, magical place that is high school and all of the endless happiness that accompanies it. Little did we know. Whether it was creating your first humanities presentation freshman year, or finalizing your Senior Seminar portfolio, high school definitely had some struggles in store for us. But, high school was also an amazing time of maturing, exploration, and just down-right fun, both in school and out. A lot has happened in the past 4 years. In Freshman year, everyone was Harlem Shaking. By sophomore year, we couldn’t go 24 hours without hearing someone call someone else “Ebola.” Junior Year saw the painful rise of the whip and, of course, the dab. And finally senior year, which was just a blur anyways.

So here we are, at the end of high school and on the precipice of our adult lives. As we go out into the world to become doctors or dancers, lawyers or legislators, artists or accountants, we have to remember our roots, where we started, and the excellent foundation of support New Albany has given us. As we take on new challenges and face new unimagined situations, we have to remember our commitment to open-mindedness and lifelong learning. Maya Angelou encourages us all to “do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better.” In the future whether it’s your best or your worst day, Winston Churchill reminds us that “success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” If there is anything that I have learned from my limited experiences, it’s that you can’t let life happen to you, you have to make life happen for you. Be proactive and not reactive in all of your endeavors. And finally, always find a way to put a smile on your face, because a smile is a curve that sets everything straight. The graduating class sitting before me has immense potential and it has been an honor and a privilege to walk the halls and learn alongside you. I know that we can and will make history.

So, for the last time in a long time: This is Redd, like the color, but with two D’s. Have a great day, and and even better life. Congratulations.