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WGU Graduate Speaker, Clint Cole

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Clint Cole
Western Governors University
<p>WGU Graduate Clint Cole spoke at the WGU Bachelor's Commencement Ceremony in Seattle, Washington.</p> <p>Clint Cole earned his Bachelor of Science, Business Management degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Clint Cole: We've arrived. [Cheers] Through obstacles, and challenges, and difficulties, we arrived. Let's take a second though and think about where the journey started. If you're like me, it didn't start when you sent in your application for admission. It started before that. </p> <p>For me, I remember the exact moment that it started. I was standing on the side of the street next to a Greyhound bus saying goodbye to my wife and my kids. I wouldn't see them again for another two months. More than two months. When I got on the bus, it took me to my new job as a long-haul truck driver. And on the trip, I did something that I never let them see me do, I cried.</p> <p>When my wife went into labor, I was 1,242 miles away. She lay in the hospital, and I couldn't be there for her. And I didn't just miss the big things that you know you'd miss. I missed the little things, too. I missed every trip to the beach. I missed the baseball games. I missed the music recitals. I missed those things that're not going to happen again.</p> <p>And every day away from my family was pain. It couldn't go on. It couldn't go on like that. Sure, trucking did let me earn the kind of life that would support my family with what they deserved, but they deserved a dad, too. So I started to get my degree. And I got it the only way I could do it and continue to do my job was to do it online. And so I drove the truck 70 hours a week. And once I had enough experience, I started to train student drivers and after I finished driving my part, and I was training them how to drive their part, I'd sit in the passenger seat, and I'd read. </p> <p>I read, and I studied, and I memorized. I remember I learned about the humanities while I was riding through West Texas. I learned statistics when I was stuck in traffic in Los Angeles. [Laughter] Right up there on I-5, I learned economics.</p> <p>Through winding forests and up and down the sides of mountains, I got my education. It wasn't easy. There were times I wanted to give up or at least take some kind of a break. What else was I going to do? Look out the window? Every day that it took me to get my education was one less day that I could spend with my family. One less day that I could watch my kids grow. That's some powerful motivation.</p> <p>So in two years, I earned my four-year degree. Inside a moving vehicle while working more than full-time. Every mile brought me that much closer to my goals. And I had a number of jobs I would have loved, but the number one job that I wanted was to be a commissioned officer in the Air Force. And the same month that I graduated and got my degree, the Air Force selected me for my commission. [Applause] </p> <p>Thank you. Soon I'll begin that career of service to my country and to you. The last mille of that journey, that's done. I stand with you together now as we cross a momentous threshold. Before me sits teachers, and nurses, and masters of business, and information technology.</p> <p>You've shown that you can complete the goals that you've set for yourself. None of us were handed this. It didn't come easy. We've all had our unique challenges. We've all had our unique obstacles. We've all had to work for it. So I understand you. I understand that you ask yourself constantly, "Why can't I be more? Why can't I do more? Why can't I give more back to my community and my country?"</p> <p>We know that although that journey is done, we still have a long story to continue. And so now today, I have a new challenge for you. Find your next journey. Set your next goals and continue. Faculty, loved ones, and graduates, thank you. [Applause] </p>
Western Governors University
© 2018 Western Governors University – WGU. All Rights Reserved.
Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)