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WGU Graduate Speaker, Justin Osmond, Winter 2011

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Justin Osmond, Winter 2011
Western Governors University
<p>Justin Osmond was selected as a student speaker for WGU's 2011 Winter Commencement. Justin is from Ephraim, Utah. </p> <p>Justin Osmond earned his Master of Business Administration.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Thank you Tammy, Dallan, and Jozelda. You are an inspiration to us all. I, too, would like to bear my appreciation on this wonderful occasion. I usually start off with a joke, but I didn't think it was appropriate. So I asked President Mendenhall for a joke. Now I have two jokes. They're not appropriate. [Laughter]</p> <p>Today is a wonderful celebration. It all started two-and-a-half years ago in a small town cemetery. One of my best friends and I decided to earn some extra money and go do some yard work. After working a sweat for three hours under the hot summer sun, we took a break underneath a big pine tree. While sipping on a cold drink, this individual totally took me by surprise. He said, "Hey, I'm going to go back to school and get my MBA. You should join me." And I said, "Excuse me?" [Laughter]</p> <p>And then he said this: He said, "Well, you're not getting any younger, and you're certainly not getting any smarter. We have nothing to lose, but we have everything to gain. Sure, we'll have to spend some money out of our own pockets, which is one of the reasons why I'm here at the cemetery; to earn some additional money to help pay for my school. It'll be the best investment we could ever make that will be a long-term dividend and provide not only for ourselves, but our families and our friends and our loved ones." After a long time of silence, I thought about it, and I said, "Okay. Let's do it. But only under one condition: As long as I don't have to speak at the commencement." [Laughter]</p> <p>Because of this individual, it's his fault that I'm here today. In fact, he's sitting here right in the audience right now. I wish to publically and to personally thank him from the bottom of my heart. I wish to say that anyone within the sound of my voice, if anyone is looking for an executive marketing director that will exceed your expectations [Laughter], if there's anyone -- [Applause] If anyone is looking for an administrative executive that will expand your market share, if anyone's looking for a chief party office that has all the people skills you're looking for, I highly recommend this individual to anybody. [Applause] This individual is my brother, Shane Osmond, right here in the audience. We did it. We did it, brother.</p> <p>You know, let me tell you a little secret about a brother's love. We both started our master's degree together at the same time. He finished before I did; a lot earlier than I did, because he's a little smarter than I am. [Laughter] But he waited. He waited almost a whole year so we could walk this stage together. [Applause]</p> <p>Many of you don't know, but I have a 90-percent hearing loss. And during my studies, this has proven to be a wonderful blessing. [Laughter] Many times in my travels on a plane, there would be a young child sitting next to me screaming, and I would just simply turn my hearing aids off and flip, quiet, no distractions, and I was able to focus on my studies. And over the years, I've developed a personal motto: I may have a hearing loss, but that hearing loss does not have me. [Applause]</p> <p>Thanks to Western Governors University. Thank you so much. And there are two very special people that I would like to thank today. First, my father. Sir Merrill Osmond. He as my mentor and my motivator. Despite his many accomplishments, such as producing Ronald Reagan's Inaugural, producing The Donny and Marie Show, the cofounder of the Children's Miracle Network, his unconditional love, and his humility taught me that if we fear failure, we don't have the faith sufficient enough to believe that God will lead us to our final destiny. </p> <p>I would pass an exam, and my dad would take me out to celebrate with a milkshake. [Laughter] And there were times when I didn't pass an exam. And you know what? He still took me out for a milkshake. [Applause] Thank you, Dad. Thank you for encouraging me and motivating me and inspiring me.</p> <p>The second person is my dear mother. She was my teacher. She woke me up every morning at 5:30 for almost 12 years, and she spent hour and hours with me with my speech, my listening, and my comprehension therapy. Because of her, I can now speak with passion and hear with conviction. Strickland Gillilan said it the best: "You may have riches untold, caskets of jewels, and coffers of gold, but richer than I you can never be. I had a mother who read to me." [Applause] I love the words of Abraham Lincoln: "All that I am and all that I've become I owe to my angel mother." Thank you, my dear parents, for never giving up on me and believing in me. Thank you.</p> <p>I currently work for a wonderful organization called the Starkey Hearing Foundation. I'm grateful for the opportunity to travel the world helping one child at a time with the gift of hearing. To see a child light up like a Christmas tree when he or she hears their mom's voice for the very first time is life changing. Thanks to Western Governors University, you have stimulated my vision and you've strengthened my desire to where I've developed a program and a foundation, what I call the Olive Osmond Perpetual Hearing Fund, in honor of my grandmother, that will allow me to help even more children worldwide with the gift of better hearing. I don't want to measure my life by the days I've lived, but by the hearing smiles I've left behind.</p> <p>During my travels, as I mentioned, I sometimes feel like a postage stamp. I get licked, I get depressed, I get stuck in a corner. [Laughter] And I get sent from place to place, but we always succeed in arriving the right place if we just stick to it. [Applause]</p> <p>Most of my studying was done on an airplane or in a hotel room, either in Africa, the Middle East, yes, even in Egypt, Latin and South America, all over Southeast Asia, or someplace far away from home. I remember one particular time I was standing on top of Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world. I remember saying to myself the quote by Emily Dickenson: "You never know how high you are until you are called to rise. And then, if you are true to plan, your stature will touch the skies." Such is the feeling I feel today. At this very moment, I feel like I'm on top of this world and touching the skies, and I'm sure every one of these graduates feel the same today.</p> <p>Thank you, Shane, for calling me to rise. Thank you, Western Governors University, for helping me stay true to plan. If you need a mascot, I would love to volunteer to be your mascot. [Laughter] And Donna Pope, you are my mentor. You are the best mentor here at Western Governors University. [Laughter] [Applause] Thank you. I hope they give you a raise. [Laughter] Thank you, my beloved parents, for believing in me and helping my stature touch the sky. But most of all, I want to thank the Lord above. I know I'm nothing, but with His strength, I can do all things.</p> <p>I'm honored to be here today. And behalf of all the graduates I say, "It's party time." [Laughter] P-A-R-T-Y. It's a day of celebration. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.</p> <p>[Applause]</p>
Western Governors University
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)