Speaker will leave deep thoughts to Tutu

Cynthia Gee, the student selected to speak at Commencement, said she had never been further east than eastern Washington state before she came to GW

But Gee said she is happy with her decision to come to GW despite missing the “laid-back attitude” of her home in Tacoma, Wash.

“This is a totally different world over here,” Gee said. “Everything is so fast-paced. But it’s been great. I’ve had everything right here at my fingertips. I knew I wanted to be in a place like this.”

Gee, graduating from the School of Engineering and Applied Science with a degree in systems engineering, said during the past four years, she has done everything from interning for the State Department and on Capitol Hill to taste-testing Coke as a Coca-Cola Scholar. Gee also has been involved with the Neighbors Project, the Society of Women Engineers and the Fulbright Association.

“The experiences we have here will make us a step above the rest,” she said. “We are able to do things here other people are not able to do.”

Gee said she originally auditioned for the SEAS speaking position, and after being chosen she decided to audition for the speaking position at Commencement.

She said she was surprised to be chosen to speak at Commencement.

“I wasn’t even listening for my name when they came out to tell (the students auditioning) who had been chosen,” Gee said. “I was already so happy to have been chosen by the Engineering School to speak, and I was so in awe of the people sitting around me.”

Gee said she has a habit of changing speeches at the last minute, but she intends to focus on the fact this graduating class is among the last classes of this millennium.

“Our task, as leaders, is to help bridge the new millennium,” Gee said. “This is the role of the class of 1999. Whether we are historians, philosophers or engineers, we are tied together by the bond of this whole new frontier of technology.”

Gee said while she is talking to other students about their experiences at GW to incorporate them into her address, she does not expect that her speech will be littered with a lot of inspirational quotations.

“I’ll leave the rest of the deep, profound things to Desmond Tutu,” she said.

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