On Wednesday, April 11, 2018 we gathered to celebrate the BIC graduating students of 2018. As part of the banquet, Ryan White was voted by his peers as the male BIC student to represent his graduating class and was invited to offer a few words to his fellow graduating seniors. We hope you enjoy reading his remarks from that evening’s festivities.
Hey everybody. It’s really an honor to be on this stage. I don’t really know what qualifies me to be up here, but I’m very grateful.
I think at this time it’s normal to share some memories and classic moments we have had in the BIC. At least, it wouldn’t be a BIC banquet if we didn’t all take a moment to remember Dr. Tatum’s wicked dance moves.
When I was thinking of what to speak about tonight, I did what any good BIC student would do, and I spent some time in self-reflection. When I woke up from my nap I still didn’t know what I was going to talk about.
I remember when I decided to come to Baylor, I was determined to go backpacking up to Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevadas the summer before we started first semester. Because of this I didn’t go to line camp, or orientation. This meant I would do orientation the day prior to move in day, which also happens to be my birthday. On that day I got my ID and all the other freshmen things. I also sat in on an interest meeting for the honors college and filled out an application for the BIC. As I was walking back to my dorm with my parents, a man called me and said his name was Adam Moore and he wanted to offer me a spot in the BIC. I accepted obviously. I like to think that perhaps I was only offered because it was my birthday and Mr. Moore was feeling particularly generous that day. Whether that is true or not, throughout my time here I’ve had moment after moment where I knew the BIC was exactly where I needed to be.
When Dr. Marcus Dracos would bring us coffee to our 8am Rhetoric class freshmen year, only so we would stay awake to talk about Aristotle, I knew this is where I needed to be.
When Mr. Moore continued to let me in his office and talk about my future after I already had my advising appointment, plus a couple more, I knew this was where I needed to be.
When my classmates and I would get lunch after class and actually talk about what Aristotle had to say about a specific virtue, I knew.
When Dr. Zori told me he would be happy to be my thesis director, whether or not either of us knew at the time what we were getting into, I knew.
And when I ran into Dr. Long right outside of Morrison one day and jokingly offered him my skateboard, only to have him, without hesitation, ride away on it… and I mean away, I knew.
When, after 3 &1/2 years of BIC life, I still had questions about Aristotle and Aquinas, Dean Hibbs happily got coffee with me to help me understand, I knew.
When I walked in tonight and recognized the faces of all my friends, I knew this was where I needed to be.
Throughout my time at Baylor I’ve learned so much about family, about community, and about friendship. At the very least BIC has been a conduit and a training ground, if you will, for that experience to take place. A place to learn, to fail, to ask questions, and to grow.
C.S. Lewis says that “we need others physically, emotionally, intellectually; we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves.”
If my experience has been anything, it is that what I have come to know has been from each and every one of you here. The only appropriate thing for me to do with this opportunity is thank you: my teachers, my colleagues, my rivals (Brad), my family, my friends. Thank you for all you’ve done for me, accidental or not, it’s been the best birthday present I’ve had.