Hubbard Named Student Speaker for Commencement 2018
By Benjamin Pontz, Managing News Editor
Morgan Hubbard ’18 will deliver remarks on behalf of the Class of 2018 at Commencement in May. A biology major and writing minor, Hubbard was selected from a field of applicants to give the address, which will “reflect the ups and downs of our time here,” she said.
“I wanted to have an honest but positive approach,” she said. “In the past four years I’ve spent here, it’s been turbulent. Especially in the context of what’s happening in the nation and globally, I think we’ll look back hopefully years from now and think, ‘Wow, I was in college at that time. I was with my peers, and this is how we responded.'”
Hubbard has been involved in the Center for Public Service (CPS) as an immersion project leader for trips to Washington D.C. and Nicaragua and a program coordinator for the South Central Community Action Programs (SCCAP), the Office of Residential and First-Year Programming as a Residence Coordinator for apartments and suites, and The Gettysburgian as a copyeditor and staff writer.
Although many of the themes discussed in her speech originated at the beginning of this semester while she was reflecting on a CPS immersion project, she wants her message to be applicable to all members of the graduating class and also to resonate with families and current students in attendance.
“I didn’t want it to be about me, per se,” she said.
Throughout her Gettysburg career, Hubbard has been engaged on issues of social justice and has written for CPS’s SURGE blog. After college, she will move to Memphis, Tennessee to serve as a teacher as part of the Teach for America program, an outlet to further her pursuit of equity and inclusion.
“The places where I feel that our country has the most room for growth stem from education and its inherent inequity across our country,” she said. “Education is one of the best opportunities for people to gain influence and knowledge and … step out of some of the oppressive arms.”
While she acknowledges her own political views, Hubbard emphasized that she values the range of opinions within the campus community and intends to assert that they are a positive.
Hubbard said that she hopes her fellow graduates will realize that their actions have made an indelible impact on their peers over the past four years of their experience. She mentioned that seeing Peter Rosenberger ’16 deliver the Commencement address that year inspired her to pursue giving the address at her own graduation.
“I’m really grateful for this opportunity, and I’m really proud of all my peers,” she said. “It’s a big day, and it’s one that everyone deserves to spend being really joyous about this accomplishment.”
Director of Student Activities & Greek Life Joe Gurreri said that Hubbard stood out among the applicants based not only on the content of her speech but also for her academic and co-curricular achievements.
“The Class of 2018 had many well-qualified and outstanding speaker candidates to serve as this year’s Senior Class Commencement Speaker,” he said. “Morgan Hubbard was no exception and ultimately rose to the top as she does a wonderful job capturing the impact her time at Gettysburg has had on her. She thematically ties her speech together in a way that really resonated with the selection committee, particularly and most importantly her fellow classmates.”
Above all, Hubbard hopes that her classmates realize the privilege, value, and accomplishment tied up in walking across the stage.
“People tend to take for granted what Commencement means,” she said. “Graduating college is a big deal. I think people should be really, really proud of themselves.”