Multicultural Student Services Center holds celebration for graduating seniors

Get married. That might not be the typical advice graduating seniors hear over Commencement Weekend, but those words were some of the pieces of advice imparted on students at the fourth annual Multicultural Senior Celebration May 14.

“Stop partying, clubbing or going to the spa and find your true love,” Michael R. Tapscott, director of the Multicultural Student Services Center, said. “Love them faithfully and all your dreams will come true.”

Tapscott said marriage is a common link, binding people who are happy in life and successful in their careers. The idea of marriage may be far from the minds of many of the center’s graduates, but the high-acheiving group said the relationships they built during their collegiate careers will help them achieve both happiness and success .

One of eight student speakers, Lauren French, who was the special events coordinator for the Multicultural Business Student Association, a member of the Black Student Union and a former president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, said, while the future is a place to build dreams, the steps necessary to attain them start tomorrow.

French focused on one simple phrase in her speech: “Carpe diem.” While many of the other speakers focused on the importance of the future, French said, “Rather than look to the future, seize every day.”

Ernesto Apreza, one of two graduate speakers on behalf of GW’s Latino community, has served as president, vice president and pledge educator of the Pi Delta Psi fraternity, as well as vice president of the Organization of Latino American Students and co-leader of the group’s community service-based spring break trip to Guatemala. Apreza’s speech focused on the effects specific individuals within the center’s families had on his experience at GW. While at GW, he realized “kicking you out of the darkness of ignorance” can shed new light on relationships and forge new perspectives.

“GW has given me a ticket to a better life,” Apreza said.

The Multicultural Student Services Center is a place many students feel they have grown as individuals and as a diverse community, or as associate director of the center, George Rice III, said where they have gotten “SWAG.” This type of swag refers to an acronym instead of a demeanor, standing for “strategic ways to achieve greatness.”

As the second senior speaker on behalf of the African-American student community, graduate Benson Mensah-Bonsu summed up many of the seniors’ feelings as they embarked on the culmination of their time at GW by saying, “It’s good to have an end to a journey, but it’s the journey that matters in the end.”

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