Dr. Karen A. Stout Urges Graduates to “Change the Dance: Be Present”

President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout delivered the commencement address at two ceremonies at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, FL, sharing examples of how carefully attending to small details is important to success of any type, at any level, for nearly every person and profession. She talked about how taking a small step can “change the dance.”

Indian River State College, an Achieving the Dream Leader College, celebrated its largest graduating class in the college’s history, with 3,720 graduates. The number of IRSC students graduating increases every year, with this ceremony marking the fifth year in a row that the graduating class exceeded 3,000 students.

Speaking to the bachelor’s degree graduates in the morning and to graduates earning associate’s degrees in the afternoon, Dr. Stout talked about their collective successes and acknowledged that the graduates “represent the future success of this community, as you will be (among many roles) this region’s educators, photonic engineers, emergency medical technicians, medical laboratory technicians, nurses, digital media professionals, bioinformatics technicians, environmental economists, film animators, biofuels production technicians, and even major league baseball players, including Steve Pearce, a two-time Baltimore Oriole who realized my childhood dream (until I was 12) to play for the Orioles.”

She imparted a simple message for the graduates: to be present.

“Today, I dare you to do one thing, just one thing. I dare you to take a small step to change your dance. To change your dance to be present. To be present. I am asking you to focus on the now. In learning how to focus on the now, I am confident you will find your way forward, and change your dance.”

Click here to read the full speech.

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