To the Class of 2016

Each year, the faculty is given the charge to name one outstanding student who we feel embodies the vision and core values of our college as well as the goals of our specific program area. The task is almost never easy-not for any program area. Each year that I have had the privilege to stand up here to announce this award, I’ve been sure that no future graduating class could possibly hold nearly as many amazing students. And yet, here you are sitting before me now, and here I am again wondering if there could be a better group than this, wondering how in the world the time has come to let you go.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately—about the difficult chore of letting go. Perhaps it is because my own boys, who were infants when I started here at Butler, are already in middle-school now, and I can’t believe how quickly the time has come and gone.

Just last week, the middle-secondary program shared our final night of class together and as has become our program’s tradition, I selected a children’s book to read aloud to our graduating class. Since I’d been thinking about that difficult chore of letting you all go, this year’s book was Dr. Seuss’s, Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now! I won’t read the whole thing to you all again, but I’d like to share a little piece of it tonight for our families…mostly the alternative ending.

     Marvin K. Mooney!

    I don’t care HOW.

          Marvin K. Mooney!

          Will you please GO NOW!

          I said GO and GO I meant….

          The time had come SO Marvin WENT.

          Marvin K. Mooney went, indeed. He went out into the world to help ALL kids succeed.

          Now sure, I will miss ol’ Marvin K. for teaching him always brightened my day.

          But, if Marvin doesn’t go, if he’s too scared to leave, who else will go out there and make them


          To believe that our teachers, where ever you go, have powers much greater than most people know.

          Marvin K. Mooney had to go, so he went out to the world in which he was sent.

          Out to the world as an agent of change—no challenge he faces is out of his range.

          So Marvin must leave BUTLER because he’s ready to go—and that’s something his CoE family already knows.

Parents and families, please know how grateful we are that you had the courage and strength to let go of your kiddo four (or 5) years ago. You trusted that they were ready and you let them find their way to Butler and into our College of Education. I hope you know that we have and will continue to care for them, to celebrate with them, and to have big hopes for them too.

Tonight I have the honor to stand before this amazing group of new teachers who will tomorrow end their time as undergraduates and embark on their journeys as educators. Just as you put your trust in us when you let your sons and daughters come here to Butler, now I am putting my trust in your sons and daughters to teach and mentor my own children. In that act, I’m confident that 4 or 5 years from now, I’ll be brave enough to let go of my own boys and to trust that they too are ready to go.  So, while I am a little sad to see the class of 2016 leave here, I am excited to let them go because I know their time has come, they are all ready and they are needed out in the world.

The time has also come for me to share the name of the 2016 Outstanding Middle-Secondary Student:

This year’s honor goes to a young woman who has said yes to everything she possibly could in her time at Butler. She has been recognized as a Top 10 Butler University Student not once, but twice. She has been a Butler University Ambassador- a person our university relies on to not only exemplify our Butler values and community, but to share our story in a way that makes people want to say yes to being a part of it too. She exemplifies the heart and soul of our College of Education Core Values and personifies of the Butler Way seeking out the toughest challenges with an attitude of humility and tenacity that makes her a pure joy to work with. Her work ethic is matched not only by her sincere care and support of others, but by her sense of humor as well. Ladies and gentleman, it is my pleasure to announce the 2016 Outstanding Middle-Secondary student is Ms. Carly Allen.

Ms. Allen is completing her first very successful year as a high school mathematics teacher. She found the time and energy to participate in our Alumni Collaborative nights during the fall semester where she was an invited guest speaker for our methods course. We can’t wait to see what the future brings!!



**Dear Readers,

You may have noticed a gap in the posting sequence as I did not offer an address for our 2015 Outstanding Student. The award recipient was Ms. Amber Zimay–an absolutely amazing young woman who has spent the last two years teaching in Mexico as a Fulbright Scholar. The address was given by my friend and colleague, Dr. Susan Adams, so that I could be with my family to grieve the loss of my big brother who passed on May 2nd, 2015.

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