GSBLSU 2014 Graduation Speech: Faith Black

2014 Senior class officers

2014 Senior Class Officers

On June 6, 2014, the graduating class of GSBLSU gathered together in LSU’s Union Cotilion Ballroom to round out their three years of education, companionship, and personal development with their graduating ceremony.

Faith Black, President of the 2014 GSBLSU class, addressed her fellow classmates in her sincere and moving speech. We have included the speech below, in it’s entirety, and hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed hearing it the first time:

 Good morning.

While preparing my comments for today, I asked several classmates for their feedback on three things: (1) how the Graduate School of Banking at LSU has benefitted them personally; (2) how it has benefitted them professionally; and (3) what they liked best about the banking school experience.

As for #1, the personal benefits, both Chance Carter and Marc Petro said the program has been a good gauge of their individual strengths and weaknesses in the banking industry. Wes Rouse said it allowed him to push himself on the education side and provided thought provoking questions about our industry and his financial institution. And Blake Taylor said he has benefitted by meeting bankers from around the country and learning about their banking processes.

As for #2, the professional benefits, Brent Huckaby said the program has helped develop his ability to be a more understanding and effective leader. Jeff Lee said he has gained professional knowledge that has already benefitted him and his bank and allowed him to provide input in areas where he previously had no experience. And Robyn Breshears said the Graduate School of Banking has helped her enhance skills that will be beneficial throughout her career.

And the overwhelming response to question #3 about the best part of banking school was…the people –specifically, each other as fellow students, colleagues and friends.

Deena Bradley, Lindsey Anderson and Anna Beglaryan all said that the friendships they formed with their three roommates was the best part of banking school for them. And I have to agree whole heartedly – because they are my three roommates and they were the best part for me too. We were strangers when we met the first day of our freshmen year but now these accomplished and remarkable women are dear friends and I’m grateful to the Graduate School of Banking for bringing them into my life.

I think Gage Walker’s response summed it up best when asked what he liked most about the experience: “There’s not anything I don’t like about banking school,” he said. “I just wish there were additional opportunities to have continuing education like this down the road. I’ve learned a great deal and had a great time doing it! I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.”

I believe all of the seniors join me in agreeing with our classmates. I know that for me, their comments truly represent how I have benefitted from and feel about this program. As I shared with Dr. Woodland in an email earlier this year, “It is with mixed emotions I approach my last year at the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. I feel relieved at having completed my tenth and final home study project, excited about being on campus and seeing my new friends again, and sad when I think about these three years coming to an end. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the program. It has far exceeded my expectations and been an exceptional personal and professional experience.”

In closing and on behalf of the senior class, I would like to thank all of the families and friends, spouses and children, and bosses and co-workers who supported us over the last three years as we spent weeks away from home and work. I would also like to thank Dr. Woodland, the Board of Trustees and the faculty for their immeasurable contributions to our continuing education and careers. And thank you tothe banking school staff – Ruth, Corinne and Theresa – for all you do every year to make this such a great experience for everyone involved.

Finally, I want to thank the senior class for electing me as your President. It has been a lot of work, a lot of fun and my honor to have this role. And thank you to the senior advisory council members – Mike, Ray, Humberto and Hector – for their support and contributions to our class.

We are an exceptional class and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU is even better because we were here. Good luck to us all as we take the knowledge we’ve gained here into our work and lives. As the motivational author Brian Tracy wrote, “Those people who continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.” Now let’s go do some moving and shaking!

Thank you.
Faith Black
President, Class of 2014
GSB LSU Graduation Speech
June 6, 2014