Mark Lund spoke at his high school graduation in 1996, before a senior class of 12 students and several hundred people in a gymnasium in southeastern Alaska.
Four years later, he will take the stage again during GW’s 2000 Commencement, as the selected student speaker.
It’s definitely (going to be) exciting to be on the same stage as the faculty, staff and Secretary (of State Madeleine) Albright, Lund said. It’s obviously a big, big thrill.
Lund was selected to speak at the graduation ceremony for the School of Public Health and Health Sciences by the members of the school’s senior class. He applied and was selected by a committee of University officials to speak during the Ellipse ceremony.
Known to most of the campus as the walk-on point guard for the men’s basketball team, Lund came to GW hoping for obscurity.
I kind of wanted to go to a school where I’d be more of a face in the crowd, said Lund, who is majoring in Exercise Science. That just hasn’t happened.
As a freshman, Lund was manager of the men’s basketball team. The following year, he made the team as a walk-on player. By his senior year, fiercely loyal GW crowds dubbed the reserve point guard The People’s Champion.
Lund said his speech will have little in the way of reflection over his past four years at GW.
I’ll reflect a little on basketball because I think that illustrates what I’m about and what is successful for me, he said. There’s so much you can take from any sport, not even just a sport. An internship, something you can devote yourself to that carries over into life. That’s what these four years of college are about. It’s about finding yourself, who you are, who you want to be with and what direction you want to take in life. For some it may take four years, for others it may take 40.
After graduation, Lund will attend medical school at GW.
I’m a fairly active guy and I enjoy working with athletes, so I may go into physical medicine, preventative medicine or orthopedics, Lund said. Or, I may go back up to Alaska, Oregon, Washington or Colorado and be the doctor in a small town.
Lund said while many of his memories of GW are of his basketball career, the friendships he’s formed and the simple things he’s done will be memories he’ll cherish forever.
(I’ll remember) anything to do with basketball, whether it’s getting stitches in the emergency room, making a free throw at the MCI Center, losing to UMass at my final game of college or rushing the courts after beating Xavier at the buzzer, Lund said. But also, the friends I’ve made. It doesn’t have to be the huge parties, because that’s not who I am. Just hanging out with friends, going to the movies and going to the theater.
Lund said he plans to speak about the things that got him where he is today.
I’m just going to say the only thing I know, said Lund. All effort and 100 percent from the heart. I’m not good at anything. I’m not a great student. I’m not a great basketball player. The only thing I can do is give 100 percent and so far that’s done very well for me, he said. It’s such a great opportunity (to speak), and sure, it’s a lot of pressure. But I’m just thankful for my class for selecting me.