2019 Senior Banquet Speech — Kennen Dickens

On Wednesday, April 3, 2019 we gathered to celebrate the BIC graduating students of 2019. As part of the banquet, Kennen Dickens was voted by her peers as the female BIC student to represent her graduating class and was invited to offer a few words to her fellow graduating seniors. We hope you enjoy reading her remarks from that evening’s festivities.

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Well, here we are! I’m being honest in saying that I wasn’t exactly sure what “here” would look like, and I’m pretty certain what I thought “here” would be has changed about five times. I remember the day when we were Baby BICers, booking it to Large Lecture in Marrs McClane Auditorium because we (or rather, I) mixed up small group and large group dates in our schedule. Now here we are, running a little less on campus, and getting ready to take what we have learned and plunge ourselves into the abyss that is life after Baylor. Oh, how far we have come from being those lil’ Baby BICers. We have walked our way through the rest of our classes and made it to the final bookend of our college career.

I keep coming back to the great thankfulness I have for the BIC and all of the connections that come from being a member of this rare community. There are several characteristics which BICers have accumulated over these last four years that I expect will remain influential in whatever avenues we take in the years to come: the lasting motivation of Curiosity, willingness to enter challenging circumstances, and the Hope born from Curiosity.

We have read from great artists, historians, activist, writers, and pioneers throughout these last couple of years, each driven by the need to not only find answers but to also redefine the way we ask questions. In their seeking they found understanding and humility, knowing that there is oh so much more to be sought after that which we have barely touched. There’s something about having Curiosity as a motivator. She is never quite satiated, which is a lovely yet equally dangerous thing, but as BICers we are not ones to shy away from perilous grounds, are we? Within one newly found item of Curiosity arrives the undeniable desire to pursue another.

A BICer is known for their willingness to press into difficult questions. If there is an uncomfortable or challenging incident in Baylor Chapel or on the Baylor campus, whatcha bet that there is a BIC student or professor there in the midst of it. BIC –the best kind of troublemakers, indeed. BICers have this great desire to press into hard things and challenge common subscriptions. “That’s just the way it is” isn’t a viable answer for us. Something I have learned as a BICer is that familiarity is a lovely place to live for a time, but we find our true selves through stepping outside and plunging into the unknown, grappling with our assumptions of what we think we know. Throughback to Plato’s Cave, am I right?

However, as I look back on our time as members of the BIC and what this program has taught us about living, I begin to see the concept of Curiosity in a new light. Curiosity is synonymous with Hope. If anything they are co-motivators and game-changers. As our Paw Prints have depleted over the years printing several trees worth of readings, these authors and professors have fueled this truth within us that change is inevitable. And healthy. Sometimes it’s unhurried and other times it comes on faster than we can gauge, but as BICers we have trained our perspective to see the challenges around us as means to understand and seek out greater truths. Where there is still yet more to be discovered, there will always be Hope. As BICers with this desire to take on the uncomfortable and stoke our curiosity for the foreign, we may step into this post-Baylor abyss and onto the shoulders of the professors, authors, and friends who have shaped our BIC experience.

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